Regeneration for Knottingley with new facilities

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A new library, gym, and rail service could be introduced in Knottingley, as part of a plan to regenerate the town.

A week-long festival of culture and sport is also planned for the community, alongside road and retail improvements, all designed to better the area for the people who live there.

The proposed programme of measures was revealed this week in a report to be discussed by members of Wakefield Council’s cabinet on Tuesday.

The report also asks councillors to consider setting up an action plan for the town to steer future development and set out priorities.

Coun Denise Jeffery, cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration, said: “Regenerating the district is one of our priorities and it is important that we consider all options available to support the district to grow and flourish. An action plan would help identify areas for business development and new housing, and suggest new initiatives to boost the town.”

Cabinet members will be asked to approve the creation of the action plan, as well as approving the programme of “immediate” measures, to coincide with the demolition of former Knottingley sports centre, ahead of the plan being produced.

These include supporting businesses to improve their units through a £91k Retail Enhancement Fund.

A report to the meeting said the authority will also continue to support, TJX Europe, the parent company of TK Maxx, as it expands its Knottingley site, creating around 700 jobs over the next five years.

Other highlights include investing £590k into the road network, the launch of a new rail service from Knottingley via Pontefract to Wakefield Westgate and Leeds, starting in May, and improvements to three play areas for children - Vale Crescent, Acacia Green and Kellingley playground.

The report said the council also plans to work with local policing teams to enhance the CCTV system in the town, and support Kellingley Club to fix damage to its sport pitches.  

And other immediate projects include putting themed vinyls, based on Knottingley’s heritage, in empty shop windows, and planning a week-long celebration of culture and sport. The report states that the celebration will include activities to help people understand more about the town’s heritage and encourage physical activity.

In the longer term, the report said the council plans to contribute £1m to leisure provision, with a new library, gym, toilets and changing rooms earmarked “in the proximity of the former leisure centre”, which closed last February.