Two historic buildings in Wakefield city centre have undergone extensive restoration work as part of a £3.8 million investment programme. The restoration was carried out under the High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme, jointly undertaken by the city council and Historic England. Among the restored properties are 6-8 Silver Street and 84 Westgate, with an additional 15 properties included in the scheme. Notably, the project also included improvements to four historic yards leading off Westgate.
Cllr Michael Graham, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Growth, said: “It is great to see that work has been completed on these stunning buildings, which are so important to our city centre’s heritage, and which are protected for future generations to enjoy.”
The funding made grants available to owners and tenants of historic buildings within conservation areas, with a focus on conservation-led repairs. The aim was to revitalise the area and breathe new life into the historical assets.
Richard J. Butterfield, Team Leader (Partnerships) for the North East & Yorkshire at Historic England, said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Action Zone in Wakefield has enabled the historic timber structure of 6-8 Silver Street to be revealed and carefully restored. It provides a tangible link with Westgate’s history extending back over 400 years and a rare insight into former times. We are grateful for the support of a range of specialist advisors who have informed the refurbishment plans, as well as the building owners and Wakefield Council.”
At 84 Westgate, which currently houses Nocturno nightclub, restoration work involved the removal of old paint from the building’s front to reveal its original tiled frontage. The leaking roof was refurbished, and broken tiles on the front of the former Picture House, the first purpose-built cinema in Wakefield (opened in 1913), were repaired.
The completion of these restoration projects contributes to a deeper understanding of early timber-framed buildings in the city and the wider region.