Wakefield’s inspiring waterfront regeneration projects

We have just found out the great news that two of our waterfront regeneration projects have been called inspiring. We’re really proud of all our regeneration schemes in the Wakefield district so to be named as finalists in the national 2009 Waterways Renaissance Awards is a testament to all the hard work by ourselves, partners and communities.

The two in the running for the awards are the Wakefield Council-led schemes Waterfront Wakefield and the Castleford Bridge. They are the product of successful community-driven engagement and partnership working and to see them enjoyed by citizens and visitors alike is a real joy.

The landmark Castleford pedestrian bridge is now complete and was a community driven scheme implemented by the Council and our partners. It provides a link between the town centre and riverside community on the north bank of the river and serves as a viewing point for the new fish pass put in place by the Environment Agency.

And the scheme in Wakefield’s city is opening up the waterfront to the public and re-connecting it with the city. This is ongoing but we are already seeing the realisation of creating contemporary architecture while retaining as much of the historic environment as possible.

It will be a mixed-use site with two key landmark buildings in The Hepworth Wakefield – a £26m world-class art gallery designed by David Chipperfield Architects due to open in 2010 – and the 200 year old Grade II* listed Calder and Hebble Navigational Warehouse which has been completely restored.

Three new buildings contain two office blocks and one residential apartment building fronting the historic Fall Ings Flood Lock has been restored to create a new waterside public amenity. Sir Peter Soulsby MP was the chairman on the award independent assessment panel and he’s said the selected schemes “are truly inspirational and their achievements will provide valuable lessons that will help drive the modern renaissance of our waterways.

They provide examples of successful community engagement and partnership working and demonstrate the importance of waterways for the creation of new education, recreation and business opportunities.

”I second that sentiment! The awards recognise best practice in sustainable waterway regeneration and development throughout the UK and we will find out if we have won in the Design and Construction, and Strategy and Masterplanning categories on Tuesday 31 March 2009.


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