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Wakefield council set to approve £50m Knottingley regeneration plan

Knottingley is set to undergo regeneration after Wakefield Council drew up a £50m ‘transformation plan’ for the town.

Under the full ten-year Knottingley Vision and Action Plan, over £50m will be invested into projects in the West Yorkshire town including a bespoke employment and skills programme and the extension and refurbishment of a local leisure centre.

The council’s cabinet will be asked to approve the vision and action plan, along with other proposed projects, at their upcoming cabinet meeting this March.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration at Wakefield Council, said: ‘The Knottingley Vision and Action Plan were developed together with residents, businesses and students. It was designed around what this community told us they needed and informed by their aspirations for the future.

‘The challenges are complex but I am confident that this plan will see a transformation of Knottingley into a vibrant place in which to live, work and enjoy leisure activities, achieving many successes for the people, businesses and the place.’

Over 90 projects have been designed to revitalise Knottingley with almost two-thirds of them set to be delivered in a two-year timeframe thanks to an investment of over £3m.

The full ten-year vision will involve an investment of over £50m and plan for the provision of up to 2,500 new homes and more than 200 hectares of new employment land.

One of the first projects set to be introduced will be a bespoke employment and skills service for the town, which over two years will look to provide 450 residents with the skills to progress at work, return to employment or engage in further education.

The scheme will be piloted in Knottingley this year and then across the district in 2020, with the goal of getting at least 110 participants into work or learning.

Two other projects the council cabinet will be asked to approve are the creation of a masterplan for Knottingley and Ferrybridge, which will guide the district’s future development, and a £1m extension and refurbishment of the Kellingley Sports Pavilion.

The council’s vision for Knottingley also includes improving the district’s night-time economy, remodelling its business support and diversifying the district’s range of business spaces to encourage companies to relocate to the area.

The Knottingley revitalisation plan is just one regeneration scheme taking place in Yorkshire, with another being the Lower Kirkgate Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) which is looking to revitalise vacant or underused properties on Leeds’ oldest street.

Earlier this week Leeds City Council confirmed that a former bacon shop would be the next building to be revitalised on Kirkgate after it was selected to receive a grant for repair and refurbishment.

Image credit: Ian S

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