Library dropped from Wakefield BHS plans

A new library is no longer part of plans to redevelop Wakefield's old BHS building.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 9:04 am
The council is planning to redevelop the building, which once belonged to the collapsed retailer.

Wakefield Council is hoping to rejuvenate the empty city centre unit by installing a gallery and a cafe in there, as well as renovating the building front.

The city museum, currently in the Wakefield One building on Burton Street, would also move across to the venue, if the plans come to fruition.

The venture is subject to government funding being approved.

The unit has been empty since 2016.

However, the council has now clarified that the original plans to move Wakefield Library into the old BHS building too, have been dropped.

It's emerged that the government rejected the council's first funding bid for the redevelopment.

As a result, the council has now submitted an amended bid, which has seen the library excluded from the proposals.

As a result, the library will stay where it is currently, in Wakefield One.

If approved, the new site will feature a cafe.

Julie Russell, the council's service director for arts, culture and leisure, said: "We are seeking funding through the ‘Levelling up Fund’ to repurpose the former BHS building.

"This funding application is for a new modern museum and gallery on the high street, with a supporting café and does not affect the library, which remains in its home in Wakefield One.

"If the bid is successful the work will initially involve renovating the building and then creating this exciting, newly designed space."

If the redevelopment can be financed, the council hopes the plans will be realised by 2024.

Local Democracy Reporting Service