Transformation plans for conservation area

The Frank Matcham designed Theatre Royal Wakefield
The Frank Matcham designed Theatre Royal Wakefield
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HISTORIC buildings on one of Wakefield’s main roads could be transformed in an ambitious £2m conservation project.

Wakefield Council’s cabinet members will consider backing proposals to apply for £1.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Townscape Heritage Programme to restore buildings in the Upper Westgate conservation area at its meeting on November 21.

If successful, the council could put £500,000 into the project, which would help the owners of buildings in the area make high-standard repairs.

A report prepared ahead of the meeting includes a target list of buildings of “the greatest architectural and historic significance” that are most in need of repair, and those whose improvement will have the greatest impact on the area, including Theatre Royal Wakefield and other buildings that were previously used as banks, offices, warehouses and coaching inns which are now predominantly nightclubs.

Cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration Coun Denise Jeffery said: “Westgate is an important route into Wakefield and there are a large number of buildings in the conservation area that could benefit from this additional support.”

A similar project has seen 15 buildings repaired in Pontefract’s market place, with a further 14 expected to be completed.