Masterplan still in place to transform Wakefield’s Civic Quarter into hotels

Civic Quarter in Wakefield
Civic Quarter in Wakefield

“Considerable interest” remains in converting part of Wakefield’s Civic Quarter into hotels, nearly three years after the idea was first mooted.

The district council says that businesses are still keen to take on properties including the city’s old police station, despite no progress having been made on the plan since talks first started in November 2015.

The old County Court building.

The old County Court building.

Back then the station was being used by volunteers from Wakefield Cathedral, though they have since left the premises and it remains in the hands of the local authority.

The council wants to transform the Civic Quarter into a hotel and leisure space in the hope that it will draw more visitors to the city.

Neil Rodgers said: “There is considerable interest in the use of some of the buildings in the Civic Quarter as hotels.

“This would give people an opportunity to come and stay for a couple of nights, go to the Hepworth, go to the theatre.”

With internet shopping killing off high street retailers and causing a decline in high street footfall, it’s been suggested Wakefield should promote its cultural offering to keep the city centre alive.

Mr Rodgers added: “This sort of use would create an attraction for the city centre beyond just retail, because retail isn’t going to be what it is today.

“What it (the centre) is going to change to and how fast, we don’t know, but it’s going to change and we have to be ready for that.”

A masterplan to transform the Civic Quarter was first put together in 2012, with council bosses pledging then to redevelop Wood Street, Rishworth Street, Gill Yard, Northgate and Bond Terrace.