Here is Wakefield BID's response to latest stats from a survey on empty shop rises in the city and across Yorkshire.
Elizabeth Murphy, Manager of Wakefield BID, said: “As we’ve known for some time, Wakefield city centre isn’t immune to what’s happening nationally as high streets everywhere are facing arguably their biggest challenge ever. Businesses tell us they are affected by online shopping and high business rates among other things. It’s all partly why the BID was voted into existence, to support and promote the city centre. It’s about breeding confidence, dispelling myths and changing the perceptions of the city centre. We’ve seen a number of new openings in the city in late 2018 with more this year.
"There are plans for a new CAPA College campus which will bring footfall, a major new nightclub Nocturno is about to open to further boost our evening economy and a new cinema is on the way this summer in The Ridings – and that’s just a taste of the positive progress the city is making. The BID has driven forward a lot of new partnerships with the police to tackle things like theft and street drinking including a UK-first with SmartWater tagging in late 2018 which significantly reduced street drinking and shop thefts. We have created a new brand for the city centre which is quietly starting to rollout and we are now launching a public facing promotional website to promote what we have right here which will surprise a lot of people.
"Our first ever BID-led WFD Scrumday event was a huge success last Sunday when we teamed up with Wakefield Trinity for the club to takeover the city centre for the day, bringing thousands of people in on a typically quiet day of the week. We have more planned and while the BID is small, we have big ambitions for Wakefield.”