College and council in archive deal

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A dilapidated building that houses thousands of the county’s historic archives is set to be sold off by council bosses.

At a meeting next week, Wakefield Council’s cabinet will be presented with a report proposing selling the West Yorkshire Archives building to Wakefield College to support its expansion.

If approved, the proposals would see the West Yorkshire Archives relocated to a new purpose-built base on the site of Crown House as part of the Kirkgate regeneration area.

The £650,000 which would be paid for the Newstead Road building would be invested in the new building, which would deliver a permanent home for the collection, around a third of which relates directly to the Wakefield district.

Coun Graham Stokes, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for corporate services, said the deal would benefit both parties.

He said: “This is the best deal both for the college, which wants to expand on its current site, and the council which wants to keep the archives in Wakefield, where they have been for 300 years.”