Business endorsement for proposed hotel on Westgate

20 January 2023

The plan by Wakefield Council to build a hotel in the city centre has received a resounding thumbs up from the private sector.

The endorsement has come from Kevin Trickett, the interim chair of the Wakefield High Street Task Force which represents business interests in the city.

Speaking on The Regeneration Show podcast, Mr Trickett said that Wakefield city suffers from not having a quality hotel in the city centre. Also speaking in his capacity as president of the Wakefield Civic Society, he said they are also keen to see this become a reality.

“Going back further, in a previous job, I used to organise conferences and I would've loved to have brought that business to Wakefield, but I couldn't because we just don't have that sort of hotel.

“It's an exciting prospect and with wanting to make Wakefield a visitor destination, you've got to have somewhere for people to stay. Of course, you can't come to an event late at night and then find yourself marooned in the city with nowhere to go and no public transport after midnight. So, there's got to be somewhere where people can go and stay overnight and maybe explore the wider city and district at the same time,” said Mr Trickett.

The council’s Corporate Director for Regeneration, Mark Lynam, said that this is something that the council is now speaking with developers to gauge interest.

“What we're planning on doing shortly, once the acquisition is completed, is we're going to test the market, to see what interest there is from the hotel market.

“So hopefully over the next 12 months or so, we'll see quite a bit more activity happening down there. People might see some hoardings going up … I think some really exciting things are about to happen.”

The council is currently finalising a purchase of the old Westgate Rail Station on Mulberry Way, which closed in 2013, to be the site for this new hotel and an office block. The site is located immediately next to the new Westgate Rail station.

This is one of the key projects that will transform the city centre into a thriving and culturally vibrant city by making it adaptable to changing consumer demand and achieving new growth in residential, retail, culture and entertainment.

Find out more about the plans for the Old Westgate Station and sign up for news updates on regeneration in the city direct to your inbox.

Other planned projects include:

  • Contemporary residential development in Kirkgate, on the doorstep of the city centre.
  • Relocation of the Wakefield Library and Museum into the heart of the city centre.
  • Shop improvement grants for businesses on Bread Street.
  • Flexible multi-use outdoors entertainment area in Cathedral Square.
  • Extended food and beverage corridor from Cross Square into Wood Street.
  • New homes and community spaces in Wakefield’s Civic Quarter by Rushbond.
  • Tileyard North - the largest creative industries hub outside of London by CPP.