Wakefield and the surrounding towns and villages can offer a great deal to those thinking of relocating to the area. The district has a superb range of housing, from new executive builds and period detached properties to semi-detached and terraced homes, both for sale and to let in the buoyant rental market.
Across the area, there are a range of both public and private schools and two further education colleges. Wakefield College, which launched a University Centre for the city in 2017 offering a wide variety of undergraduate degrees and other HE courses and Pontefract New College, the first sixth form college in the country to be awarded the highest possible grades in all areas under an Ofsted inspection regime which came into force in 2012.
Currently under construction is the new college building for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) right in the centre of the city’s Merchant Gate area. It is anticipated that CAPA College will open up to 500 arts students in 2022.
Transport links and networks are very accessible as the district is located at the crossroads of the M62/M1. The city of Wakefield has a new railway station at Westgate, on the East Coast Main Line, along with 900 rail parking spaces for commuters. In addition, an extensive refurbishment of Kirkgate Railway Station has also been undertaken improving connectivity into the city and to the Waterfront for rail passengers, motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. For amenities, the city and surrounding town centres offer good sport facilities, both public and private, including the leisure and entertainment complex at Xscape, the new sports and activity centre at Aspire@The Park and various retail centres hosting big name stores and independent businesses, restaurants and retailers.
The district has seen a renaissance in terms of culture, events and tourism in recent years. For those interested in world class art, visit The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, both nationally acclaimed galleries which are part of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle. The Art House has recently transformed a former Victorian library building into more than 50 artists’ studios and a new exhibition space.
The Wakefield Waterfront Regeneration Scheme aims to transform the Southern gateway approach to Wakefield City Centre by creating a heritage rich urban destination with dedicated space for creative industries, leisure, housing and tourism. This includes 52 new waterside residential apartments, new build office spaces within the converted Grade ll listed Calder & Hebble Navigation Warehouse, refurbishment of the listed buildings of Rutland Mills. The Tileyard Studios development of this site will become a hub for creative industries with a national profile.
Heritage gems include The National Coal Mining Museum for England, National Trust Nostell Priory and the remains of Sandal Castle and Pontefract Castle, which hosts annual Proms at the Castle concert.
Local festivals are as diverse as an annual Miners Gala, Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb, Pontefract Liquorice Festival, Seaside in the City, Wakefield Lit Fest and a large number of local galas and shows run by local communities.
Open spaces, waterways and country parks are plentiful throughout the district. These include the Trans Pennine Trail, sailing and water sports at Pugneys Country Park, walking and nature at Newmillerdam Country Park and RSPB Fairburn Ings.