Eee by Gum! - Wakefield City Centre gets rid of a sticky problem

A brighter, cleaner Wakefield city centre awaits visitors following a joint clean up project between Wakefield Council and Wakefield BID which represents city businesses.

The initiative covers a whole host of sprucing up activities including deep cleaning of key areas, brightening up existing planters with new floral additions, and enhancing shop fronts as the high street prepares to re-open after the latest winter lockdown. One sticky issue also being tackled is the removal of unsightly pavement blemishes such as chewing gum – an annoying problem that was recently highlighted in Parliament as costing the British taxpayer £60m a year to remove.

As well as the gum clean up, the teams have also been working hard to dislodge unsightly algae that thrives on damp paved areas.The first areas to enjoy the cleaning makeover were the pedestrian areas in and around the main entrance to the Ridings Shopping Centre and the steps to Wakefield Cathedral – two of the city centres’ main pedestrian thoroughfares.

Cllr Maureen Cummings Cabinet Member for Environment, Communities and Poverty, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Wakefield BID on this fantastic initiative. 

“It is great to see these paved areas back to their best and this reflects the pride we all feel in our city centre and our commitment to supporting the high street. By taking steps now and working with partners we can look forward to welcoming visitors and shoppers back to our full re-opened high streets.”

Cllr Darren Byford, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration at Wakefield Council, added: “We want to reassure our businesses that we are here to help them, and we will do everything possible to support them to reopen successfully and safely.”

“We’ve taken the opportunity to work with Wakefield BID to do a one-off deep clean on top of our regular cleaning and the results are fantastic. We will be looking to do more in the city centre as we move forward.”

Christine Armstrong, Director of Wakefield BID said: “There has been great teamwork with the Council on this deep clean project. It’s really important that post-lockdown our city centre is at its best and ready to welcome back residents and visitors to enjoy our shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.”

In addition to the deep clean project, Wakefield Council cleanses over 1,700 miles of roads and pavements across the Wakefield district removing on average around 86 tonnes of litter and debris per week.