Wakefield One



Aims and Objectives


The Story: the One-Stop-Shop, the Library and the Museum

In 2007 Wakefield council committed to building one centrally located office in Wakefield to replace a range of council offices across the district.  Capital receipts secured from the sale of the old buildings funded the new build.


without the inclusion of a library.  Following a review of options it was agreed by the Cabinet in July 2011 to relocate the library to Wakefield One.




The timeline for the construction of Wakefield One, the relocation of the library and museums, and the transfer of the former Drury Lane Library and former Wakefield Museum is as follows:


         July 2010: Cabinet approval for the relocation of the Library to Wakefield One following the collapse of the deal for the library to be relocated within the new retail development at Trinity Walk.

   August 2010: Work on the construction of Wakefield One commenced (by Morgan Sindall).

         March 2011:

May 2011: Cabinet approval for the relocation of the Museum to Wakefield One and for the 1820s museum building to be leased to Wakefield College for 25 years.

         November 2011: The former Wakefield Museum closed to the public for one year in preparation for its relocation to Wakefield One.

       December 2011: Construction of shell completed and Wakefield One building handed over with a nine month fit out period for offices, Customer Access Point and the library and museum. 

         June 2012: Balne Lane Library closed to the public

         October 2012: Drury Lane Library closed to the public (the two libraries were closed at different times to ensure continuity of the library service).

     29 October 2012: Wakefield One building officially opened to the public.

         May 2013: Wakefield College is due to open a new Performing Arts facility, ready for the new academic year in September 2013.

         May 2013:


Services offered at Wakefield One

         Wakefield One provides a Customer Access Point for a range of Council services including planning, council tax, housing benefits, school admissions, blue badge, street scene and environmental health.




         The Business Lounge offers a one stop shop facility for queries and questions from businesses, inward investors and those considering starting up in business.



Area Challenges

Prior to the development of Wakefield One, the council offices were spread across the town in inefficient and old buildings. The Libraries and Museums had both been experiencing declining visitor numbers, the buildings were in poor condition and upkeep was costly.


Growth pressures, housing and cultural infrastructure needs

The new Wakefield One building forms part of the wider Merchant Gate regeneration scheme which is also providing a number of new residential homes in close proximity to the railway station. The Wakefield Area Action Plan states that 2162 homes will be built within central Wakefield by 2021 and the Merchant Gate development makes some contribution towards this housing need. Indeed, market trends indicate increasing demand for one- and two-bed city centre flats and not only will the Merchant Gate scheme provide such housing, the clearance and rationalization of the old council buildings will provide sites for further housing development. At the same time, the new library and museum within Wakefield One provide an enhanced cultural offer for local residents and visitors to Wakefield.


Business/operational model

Key partners / stakeholders

The local authority was the main stakeholder and funder but they worked with Pickard Architects who designed the building, Morgan Sindall who built it, NPS Property who did the interior design and ISG who completed the fit out of the building.


The role of planning

Central Wakefield Area Action Plan (2009) states that The Merchant Gate regeneration scheme and the Wakefield One development contribute directly to this aim.


Financing and funding arrangement





Success factors and outcomes


         The inclusion of the Library and Museum within the Wakefield One building enhances its use as a civic building, and it is becoming an active community hub.



Risk factors

         The relocation of the Library and Museum to Wakefield One was a long and often complex journey.  Original plans had to be reworked (for example, moving the proposed library from Trinity Walk to Wakefield One), and then the decision to include the museum at Wakefield One nearly a year after making the decision to include the Library created further pressures and difficulties.

         The transfer of the two buildings to cultural organizations (Wakefield College and The Art House) took some time to negotiate.


Contact Details for Further Information

Graham Riding, Development Manager (culture, museums, tourism), Wakefield Council, [email protected]