City & Provincial Properties PLC, the developers responsible for completing the regeneration of Rutland Mills at the city’s historic Waterfront, has unveiled why it has chosen to invest in Wakefield to create what could be a ‘northern extension’ to its hugely successful Tileyard Studios, a creative hub based in London.
Speaking at the finale of Wakefield Business Week, which was hosted by Wakefield Bondholders at The Hepworth Wakefield, Hugh Cave, Director of City & Provincial Properties, made reference to Wakefield as a City that “wants things to happen”.
“Wakefield is open to business and we are delighted to be here. It’s a city interested in us, so we are interested in it.” commented Cave, as he addressed more than 100 local business people at the event staged to promote Wakefield’s position as a place to visit, invest in and live.
“Wakefield has a core strategy, they are looking for sustainable developments; new, mixed use schemes – this is exactly what we are proposing at Rutland Mills, we are fitting in to Wakefield’s aspirations.
“Our decision to invest in Rutland Mills was not just about numbers stacking up, we had a genuine gut feeling about this wonderful range of historic buildings that were begging to be brought back into use.”
The Rutland Mills site is set to offer the opportunity for different uses including residential, commercial, cultural, education, community and leisure. City & Provincial Properties outlined a range of ideas that could potentially be considered for the site, contextual to Wakefield. These included developing the central courtyard area with cafes or bars, small scale retail units and studios, promotion of the waterside edge and the creation of a new gateway into the site.
Speaking about a clear synergy between Rutland Mills and Tileyard Studios, a thriving creative hub recognised as the largest professional music and entertainment community in the UK, Hugh continued: “At Tileyard tenants matter, we nurture a person’s aspirations, we do not rule by spreadsheets. We want to provide enriched and stimulating environments businesses can thrive in. This is the type of hands-on experience that we would like to bring to Rutland Mills.”
Harry Leckstein, Managing Director of Tileyard also addressed the audience, showcasing the benefits of mixed media communities and their passion for sharing their skills and experience with the next generation. Harry commented: “Professional creative communities today thrive on entrepreneurship and collaborative mixed-media projects, where specialist skills and technologies connect, adding unique value to music, broadcast, gaming, digital and event businesses world-wide.
“At Tileyard London, 74 professional recording studios sit alongside 100 creative industry businesses providing the perfect environment for post-graduate and continued professional development study.
“From October 2017, Tileyard London will be launching a suite of courses where students and professionals can interact with, inspire and learn from each other in the heart of this dynamic and exciting community and I am delighted to be a part of the team developing the essential partnership between education and commerce at Rutland Mills.”
Adrian Spawforth, Chair of Wakefield Bondholders commented: “Wakefield Business Week was a celebration of all things business. We started the week looking at global aspiration and thanks to our partners at City & Provincial Properties, Tileyard and The Hepworth we showcased why Wakefield is a great place to visit, invest in and live.”
“We are all very excited by the proposals for Rutland Mills. We are keen to see new life in these beautiful buildings; to see how this environment helps develop higher level skills and also how it nurtures business, whilst also enhancing the City centre and it’s offering. Importantly, we want this redevelopment to send a positive message out to potential investors, a message that reinforces that Wakefield is open for business.”
Jane Marriott, Managing Director of The Hepworth, reinforced the role of culture in encouraging people to visit Wakefield. Jane commented: “The gallery recently held a wonderful weekend to mark our fifth anniversary celebrations. Since The Hepworth Wakefield opened in May 2011 we have welcomed over 1.5 million visitors, contributed more than £20m to the local economy and firmly established Wakefield on the national and international map.
“Our reputation and success has shown the value of culture-led regeneration. Our ambitions for the transformation of the wider site around the gallery and Wakefield waterfront are now coming to hard-earned fruition. With a developer now secured for the Rutland Mills complex and the exciting Hepworth Riverside Garden project underway, we are hoping to create one of the country’s largest free public gardens right here in Wakefield.”