£44.5m to ‘revitalise and transform’ Castleford

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A multi-million pound plan will ‘revitalise and transform’ Castleford over the next five years, council bosses have claimed.

Wakefield Council has unveiled its Castleford Growth Plan which will see £44.5m worth of investment pumped into the town and create around 2,000 new jobs.

The plan includes a new link road from Aire Street to the former Fryston Colliery site on Wheldon Road as well as £4.5m worth of improvements in the town centre.

Coun Denise Jeffery, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The Castleford Growth Plan is our vision for Castleford over the next five to ten years.

“We have a real regeneration plan for the town and I think it’s Castleford’s turn to have some investment.

“These plans will bring jobs and investment and help to revitalise and transform the town.”

The new road will see four lanes installed on Aire Street near Queen’s Mill and improvements at Bridge Foot roundabout at the junction with Lock Lane.

Coun Jeffery added: “The infrastructure is so important to the scheme because not only will it help ease traffic, it will also open up all of the development sites and make them more accessible.

“Over the next five years Castleford will be completely transformed and have a whole new look and feel which I think it needs.”

The proposals also include a revamp of Castleford railway station and the remediation of the former Hickson and Welch chemical plant site on Wheldon Road for housing.

Council bosses also hope to secure up to £3.2m worth of funding from West Yorkshire Combined Authority for revamp work at the town’s railway station.

Coun Jeffery said: “This plan will see more than 3,000 homes built and building homes is at the very heart of regeneration. It brings in new people to the town who will help revitalise it.

“That said, Castleford is a real community. It is the very definition of community and it’s important that doesn’t change.”

A £4.5m bid for improvements in the town centre is also being considered by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, which provides funding for regeneration projects.

Work to refurbish 17 shops on Albion Street, Carlton Street and Sagar Street was completed last week and the council wants similar work to be carried out on Wesley Street and other roads in the town centre.

Council bosses hope to have completed the entire scheme by 2020 and will then look at developing the waterfront area near the River Aire.

Coun Jeffery added: “The town centre looks a bit tired and it needs an improvement. We want to improve the look of the town centre and extend it down to the River Aire and the waterfront. Then the next stage is to create a master plan for the waterfront and incorporate the work being done at Queen’s Mill into our plans.”

“I started working on regenerating Castleford 12 years ago and I’m very hopeful we can have it all completed within five years.

“These are exciting times for people in Castleford and we will be holding consultation exercises about the plans over the next few months.”