Council ‘continues to invest’ in town

WAKEFIELD Council is continuing to invest in Pontefract to improve the historic market town, boost the local economy and improve prospects for local residents.

Pontefract Business Forum is committed to driving forward creative suggestions for improvements to the town, including events for local citizens and to boost tourism.

The forum, on behalf of the Town Centre Partnership, has already submitted a funding bid for £10,000 from the Department of Communities and Local Government to invest in the market place to support the local economy and preserve the heritage of the historic market town.

Pontefract Business Forum is actively helping to take the town forward by those who have the best interests of Pontefract at heart. Coun Peter Box, council leader, will be attending the next meeting to ensure that the priorities for the area continue to develop.

Wakefield Council is also pressing ahead with a major conservation scheme for Pontefract Castle. The castle saw sell-out celebrations earlier this year with more than 4,000 residents and visitors celebrating the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

Wakefield Council is working closely with The Friends of Pontefract Park group to enhance park facilities and has already raised funds to install CCTV and repair the existing toilets with a view to reopening them later this year.

The Pontefract Townscape Heritage Initiative is now in the second year of the five year programme to deliver £1.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The programme focuses on Pontefract Market Place conservation area and is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the town’s historic buildings and public places, such as the Counting House.

The council hopes to encourage new traders to Pontefract market through a business start-up scheme, which gives support to traders and a generous discount package to get up and running. New employment opportunities for local residents have also been boosted with Haribo opening a new factory in the district.

The council is working with Harworth Estates to secure funding to kick-start redevelopment of the Prince of Wales site and highway improvements are also continuing to support the delivery of 1620 new houses allocated in the Local Development Framework (LDF).

Funding for the schemes will come from the local transport plan, Department for Transport initiative and from the developers of future housing sites allocated in the LDF. This work will also tie into the proposed improvements at Monkhill Station.

COUN DENISE JEFFERY

Wakefield Council cabinet member for regeneration and economic growth