Wakefield Council has been honoured with the Collaborative Initiative of the Year accolade at the Institute of Economic Development (IED) Annual Awards 2023 for its Tileyard North project at Rutland Mills.

These awards acknowledge outstanding contributions in both the public and private sectors across various individual, team, and organisational categories.

The Collaborative Initiative of the Year award specifically acknowledges exceptional cross-sector collaboration in economic development involving two or more partners from local authorities, the private sector, third sector, business, and academia.

Councillor Michael Graham, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Growth, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “This is a fantastic achievement and celebrates the hard work over the past six years from both the Council and Tileyard.

“We’re incredibly proud of the transformation of Wakefield’s historic waterfront into a vibrant space for creativity and entertainment. It has, and will continue to have, such a positive impact for people and businesses in our district and across our region.”

Bev Hurley, IED Director and host of the awards evening, extended congratulations to Wakefield Council as the winner of the Collaborative Initiative of the Year award. The judges were impressed by the broad array of organisations and departments involved, the significant scale of the initiative, and evidence of tangible outputs and outcomes. Describing it as an ambitious, future-facing project with evident economic impacts, they noted that the first phase is already complete. The IED is pleased to acknowledge outstanding cross-sector economic development collaboration through its 40th-anniversary awards.

The Tileyard North project represents the final phase of Wakefield Council’s 15-year masterplan for the waterfront, breathing new life into 10 acres of the historic riverside. It is set to become a prominent cultural destination in the North of England, adjacent to the internationally acclaimed Hepworth Gallery.

This eight-year collaborative redevelopment initiative involves Wakefield Council, City & Provincial Properties (CPP), and Tileyard London. The Rutland Mills complex will be transformed into a 135,000 sqft creative industries hub for West Yorkshire.

With a total project cost of £40 million, funding comes from various partners, including the UK Government Levelling Up Funding and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in collaboration with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Upon completion in 2024, the site is poised to be the UK’s largest creative community outside of London. The transformed space will offer a mixed-use, creative, and cultural cluster with cutting-edge collective facilities, as well as state-of-the-art design and technology. Tileyard North aims to engage creatives from both emerging and established artists and makers from the region and across the UK.