Unity Works - a new home for creative business and live entertainment shapes up in Wakefield
PUBLISHED: 00:00 07 October 2014
The first phase of an ambitious music venue, conference centre and hub for creative businesses has been completed in Wakefield and celebrated with a unique recycling project.
Unity House, a Grade II listed building has been used and loved by the community since it was established as the Wakefield Co-operative headquarters in 1867. Today it is owned by Unity House (Wakefield) Limited, which was established as a community benefit co-operative in 2011 who are turning the building now called Unity Works into a major music venue, conference centre and location for creative businesses. It has more than 300 member investors and has raised £4m to purchase the building and refurbish the property.
Unity Works chief executive Mark Taylor said: ‘The successful completion of the first phase of the redevelopment has seen the introduction of several environmentally-friendly building solutions which will significantly reduce Unity Work’s carbon footprint as well as its energy bill.’
The Unity Works team is not known to waste anything and decided to emphasise its commitment to improving the environment by recycling the promotional banner that has been wrapped around the scaffolding during the 10 months of building work. The material is now being used to create a range of eye-catching bags. ‘When it came to taking down the old advertising hoarding we felt it would be a shame if it just ended up as landfill so we came up with the idea of turning them into bags which can be used by our members and tenants,’ said Mark.
Unity Works in the heart of the city promises to be a versatile space available to everyone and offers a 600-seater venue (700 standing) in the Major Hall and 150-seater function room in the Minor Hall – ideal for weddings and other functions. As well as 10,000 sq ft of office space it will also provide 3,500 sq ft of meeting space together with a gallery on Westgate with a reception, exhibition space and independent retail space.
Space is being let to ambitious entrepreneurs at all levels of affordability, from hot-desk space at £60 a month to high specification, fully-furnished offices. Free Wi-Fi will run throughout.
In December it will open Wakefield’s latest cafe and bar on Smyth Street. The Unity Works Café Bar will be open six days a week and will have a selection of local and regional beers and real ales, backed up with a quirky food menu.
Unity Works also offers free informal meeting space alongside bookable meeting rooms. The Major and the Minor Hall will cater for major national conferencing as well as all types of local events and the gallery area will offer exhibition space for local artists and small independent retailers.
Find out more at unityworks.co.uk