Wakefield Council is recruiting a masterplanner to rethink its city centre area
The multidisciplinary team chosen for the estimated £250,000 contract will create an ‘inspirational’ strategic framework outlining the potential for future physical development and economic growth within the historic West Yorkshire cathedral city.
The project aims to enhance the ‘historic character and sense of local distinctiveness’ within Wakefield while also delivering ‘vibrant’ mixed-use developments and housing. Copenhagen-based Gehl Architects created an earlier masterplan for the city centre in 2004.
In its brief, the council says: ‘The masterplan proposals will bring about a series of high-quality developments and complementary schemes that will contribute to the inclusive, sustainable and cohesive vision for Wakefield City Centre.
‘Primarily the purpose of this masterplan is to help address issues of decline in the retail and business sectors (in terms of empty units, vacant and under-utilised office space, rates of retail/business closures exceeding new businesses opening) within the city centre. It will create a positive reputation for the city as a desirable place to live, work and play.’
Wakefield is a historic city and former county town of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Located on the River Calder bordering the eastern edge of the Pennines. The settlement is a major employment, retail and cultural centre for the wider surrounding region.
The city is the birthplace of the sculptor Barbara Hepworth. David Chipperfield Architects completed a new gallery dubbed The Hepworth in the city seven years ago. Feilden Fowles’ The Weston visitor centre at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park nearby is also shortlisted for this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize.
The latest phased project aims to transform the centre of Wakefield into a ‘cultural centre of national and international distinction’ while also boosting the quality and flexibility of public spaces and improving pedestrian connections. It will also deliver a more diverse range of shops and a bigger offer for international tourism.
Key areas to be covered by the masterplan will include land use, movement, green infrastructure, urban design, and overall development strategy. The core area focuses on land immediately surrounding the cathedral while the wider study area stretches out to the city’s ‘Emerald Ring’ green walking route.
Bids will be evaluated 70 per cent on quality and 30 per cent on whole life costs. The deadline for applications is midday, 28 October.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
The Council of the City of Wakefield
Tel: +44 1924306964