College plans to take on former deeds building

Principal Sam Wright, who says the redevelopment is an exciting venture for the college.
Principal Sam Wright, who says the redevelopment is an exciting venture for the college.

The former Registry of Deeds building could be bought by Wakefield College and transformed into facilities for its catering, performing arts and special needs students.

The college is preparing a planning application requesting permission to refurbish the site on Newstead Road.

It would become part of the city centre campus, housing catering students and a cafe-restaurant open to the community, as well as providing specialist provision for pupils with learning disabilities and facilities for music and performing arts students, currently based at Thornes Park.

Jon Howard, director of estates at the college, said: “We plan to take a beautiful building and invest in it to restore it to its former glory and create a specialist environment for teaching and learning as well as a facility for the community.

“We did a similar thing with the old Wakefield Museum building, which is now home to our Mechanics’ Theatre.”

Mr Howard said they planned to keep and enhance the original features of the building, which has recently been vacated.

Its historic records have been transferred to the new West Yorkshie Archive Centre in Kirkgate.

Principal Sam Wright said: “We are really excited about the opportunity to redevelop such an important local building.

“It’s location, next door to our existing campus, combined with some really attractive original features would make this building a wonderful location for our students.”

The proposed redevelopment of the old deeds building is part of the college’s ongoing move to bring all of its Thornes Park campus courses to the city centre. It plans to sell the site to fund the ongoing development of the new university centre being built in the city.

Panacea Property is preparing plans for the redevelopment of the park campus, following a consultation period last year.