Nine Lakes proposals to be discussed

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MULTI-MILLION pound plans for an 8,000 acre tourist attraction starting in Featherstone are moving a step closer to reality as part of a major regeneration scheme in the district.

The Nine Lakes Forest Park – a sports, leisure and tourism attraction stretching from Wakefield Road in Featherstone to Barnsley Road at Newmillerdam and including nine existing lakes and reservoirs – is one of several major developments included in the Green Infrastructure Plan which is recommended for approval by Wakefield Council’s cabinet next week.

Approving the plan means the council will have the evidence it needs to approach investors, putting it in a stronger position to attract funding for the potential projects.

Coun Denise Jeffery, deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration and economic growth said: “This plan is important in helping us to create places that are attractive to live, relax, learn, work and invest in.

“Times may be tough but that just means that we need to be more innovative about attracting investment into our district and the green infrastructure plan sets out a number of ways which we can do this.

“It’s important that we protect our environment and maintain our green spaces and outdoor leisure areas, and having a plan in place will put us in a stronger position to attract funding and make sure that happens.”

Areas defined as “green infrastructure” include parks and gardens, village greens, woodlands, nature reserves and wildlife sites.

Leaders of the Nine Lakes project – first revealed a year ago – say it would boost the regeneration, economies and employment of nine former mining settlements including Featherstone.