Wakefield Council Leader responds to Levelling Up fund announcement

19 January 2023

More than £50m in bids to the Levelling Up Fund (LUF) to support community projects in Knottingley, South Kirkby and Wakefield city were not successful.

They were not among the £2.1bn in LUF Round 2 awards announced by the government yesterday.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council issued the following statement:

“We are obviously extremely disappointed by these decisions. We had some incredible plans that would have transformed the district for residents and businesses.   

“Our bids for Knottingley and South Kirkby are built upon long standing work with local communities and we will continue to work with them, to deliver our shared priorities there and in Wakefield.

“Yorkshire has received far less than the South East in this round of so called ‘Levelling Up’. We will be seeking urgent feedback on why all three bids for the district were rejected.

“We are, however, continuing to make great progress with other key regeneration projects, including those that have received funding from the first round of Levelling Up grants.

“This year, we will see the opening of Tileyard North, one of the largest creative centres in England. The renovation of the old Wakefield Indoor Market into a creative hub will soon be complete, it will offer events and exhibition space, alongside skills and creative business space.

“Plans for a hotel and office, on the site of the old Westgate Railway station are gathering momentum. We are buying it at the end of the month and then advertising for a developer. Construction is expected to start next year.

“These will bring with them exciting opportunities and secure a brighter future for the people of the district.”

The applications included a £19m bid to rejuvenate Hill Top in Knottingley and a £20m application for three projects in Hemsworth to attract new businesses and employment opportunities and create new skills training opportunities for young people.