Frustration over plan to turn market hall into a cinema

An artist's impression of what the development could look like.
An artist's impression of what the development could look like.

Plans to turn Wakefield’s market hall into a cinema and restaurants have been greeted with frustration by dozens of residents.

Developer Sovereign Centros and the owners of Trinity Walk Shopping Centre submitted their proposals for the site to Wakefield Council for consideration last week.

The £3m market hall would be sold off to make way for the new leisure complex, which would include a nine-screen The Light cinema and eight restaurants and cafes.

The council’s cabinet member for economic growth and skills Coun Denise Jeffery said the development would bring people in to the city on an evening, “boost the daytime economy and bring more jobs and investment”.

But many readers questioned the need for a second cinema, just over a mile away from the existing Cineworld at Westgate Retail Park.

Tracey Aisbett said on Facebook: “Why another cinema - why not a bowling alley, laser quest or trampoline park?”

Karen Clarkson wrote: “We don’t need another cinema complex in Wakefield. There is nowhere to park around there either.” Jayne Crosse agreed, writing: “A decent market would be a better choice.”

And Tina Hitchins added: “We don’t need another cinema. “Spend the money on bringing the Ridings and surrounding area back to its former glory.”

Sovereign Centros director Max La Frenais said the development would benefit new and existing businesses by bringing spending into the city.

He said: “It is clearly essential that a vibrant use is found for this important site at the gateway to Wakefield city centre as quickly as possible and we believe that Trinity Walk Leisure will deliver just that.”

Some readers agreed. Simon Parkin wrote: “Looking forward to it, be excellent for the jobs and it creates more choice of food outlets.”

And Graham Sullivan added: “I think it is a great idea and will increase revenue for Wakefield.”