Plan to transform city’s mills into vibrant waterfront complex moves a step closer

Rutland Mills artist's impression
Rutland Mills artist's impression

Plans to transform Wakefield’s Rutland Mills into a “vibrant” new complex complete with shops, restaurants and creative art spaces will be considered on Thursday.

Proposals by London-based company Tileyard Studios to develop the area’s disused buildings by the city’s waterfront have been recommended for approval by councillors.

Rutland Mills.

Rutland Mills.

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The site, which Wakefield Council agreed to sell in late 2016, could include a hotel and a riverside pier if developers get their way.

In their application, the firm behind the plans said: “Working with Wakefield Council, City and Provincial, who are responsible for Tileyard Studios, a creative media hub based in central London, plan to create a ‘northern extension’ of this significant cultural brand.

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“The proposals will help achieve the ambition to transform this historic site into a vibrant, culturally rich environment for creative and collaborative partnerships in music, film, TV, design and new media.”

The designs have received the “wholehearted” backing of the Wakefield Civic Society, who said the proposal could “breathe new life” into the area.

After being consulted about the plans, they said: “The society is keen to see a new use for the mills complex and is prepared to adopt a pragmatic position so as to help achieve this outcome: the buildings have been redundant for far too long and this redundancy has had a negative impact on the city overall and the Waterfront in particular, presenting an unwelcoming barrier to the viability of the city’s Waterfront aspirations on a key entry route into the city.

“We hope that all parties will be prepared to exercise some compromise over the understandable desire to retain as many original features as possible while accepting the need to introduce new buildings and facilities to ensure the economic viability of the project. We think the current proposal goes a long way to delivering that balance.”