£20m worth of Government cash awarded for regeneration schemes

£20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund will support two important new developments in Wakefield.

These projects will renovate and repurpose the former British Home Stores (BHS) site and deliver the second phase of the ‘Tileyard North’ creative industries hub at Rutland Mills.

The former BHS site, which is currently derelict, will become a new city museum and library.

It will complement nearby Town Deal projects as part of delivering the ambitious Masterplan for Wakefield City Centre and boost city centre footfall by attracting visitors.

Councillor Denise Jeffery, leader of Wakefield Council, said: “It is incredibly good news that we have the go ahead for the transformation of BHS and for the final phase of the Tileyard North development.

“We want to provide the services that people need and the job opportunities that this district deserves.

“This investment will have a really positive impact on the city centre, providing more reasons for residents and visitors to come to our high street.”

Kevin Trickett, chair of Wakefield Civic Society, said: “The new city library and museum project will repurpose a former 1930s art deco building, creating a much needed new public facility and boost to the city’s high street at a crucial time after years of austerity and the recent pandemic.”

Meanwhile, the city’s historic Rutland Mills waterfront complex, which has been abandoned for decades, will also receive funding.

It will be used to refurbish and renovate the remaining mill buildings as part of delivering phase two of ‘Tileyard North’, a 135,000 sq ft hub for creative industries to flourish.

The investment marks the final piece in the jigsaw of the Wakefield Waterfront regeneration scheme.

Along with the Hepworth Wakefield Art Gallery, funding will cement this area as a distinctive cultural quarter for residents and visitors to be proud of.

The wider development will provide an events space inside the glass-roofed mill, commercial offices, a large courtyard and a boutique hotel.

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