Earlier this year, work began to transform the city’s former market hall into a new events space. The goal of the Wakefield Exchange project is to convert the city centre into a hub that will be used to host creative events. It is hoped that the new premises will attract thousands of visitors to the city centre every year and support the regeneration of the city. Hoard-it worked closely with the building company to supply and install hoarding graphics panels for the duration of the construction phase.
The £7.7 million project is expected to open in early 2024 and is being carried out by West Yorkshire building firm, William Birch and Sons Ltd. They will be renovating the site which will offer residents and visitors a chance to attend an exciting programme of events and activities. Wakefield Exchange has been funded by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who fund the Cultural Development Fund, which is administered by Arts Council England, and by Wakefield Council.
In addition to the events space, it is hoped that the Wakefield Exchange will also create jobs for independent food and beverage businesses, as well as small and medium digital and creative businesses. The creative spaces are designed to link up businesses with cultural organisations, creative students, and other key figures in the area.
Simon Potter, Construction Director at William Birch and Sons, said, “We are delighted to get started on this fast-track renovation project to create an exciting space that will leave a great impact on the creative sector in Wakefield.”
Mark Lynam, Corporate Director for Regeneration and Economic Growth at Wakefield Council, added, “It’s great that work is underway at Wakefield Exchange. This site is an important part of our regeneration plans for the city centre, and we look forward to seeing this vibrant space coming to life.
Working with William Birch, Hoard-it supplied and installed 107 hoarding graphics panels which were designed by three local agencies. Wakefield Council also commissioned 11 artists to create original artwork for the construction site hoarding panels. As well as promoting Wakefield Exchange and the opportunities it offers for individuals and new businesses, the outdoor gallery of art forms part of a City Sculpture Trail.
Once the work on the building has been completed it will be handed back to the local authority, and Wakefield Exchange is expected to open to the public in spring 2024.