Wakefield Business Improvement District (BID) has welcomed news that the city’s iconic Unity Works is set to reopen as a business and conference centre just three months after going into administration.
Unity Bars and Clubs which already operates The Establishment in the same building on Westgate has already booked conferences and events at the listed building and is promising to secure the safety of other high-profile events this summer.
Renamed, Unity Hall and Business Space Limited, the company, headed up by Rob Green, is looking to guarantee the future for the 23 businesses currently operating out of the Westgate venue and attract more conferences to the location which was renovated to reflect its 19th century heritage in 2013.
“We were as disappointed as everyone in the city to see Unity House close its doors and were keen that such a unique event space could be lost to Wakefield and fall into disrepair,” he said.
“Unity House is part of Wakefield’s history and important to very many people. We believed that with years of experience running successful, award winning businesses and being so closely linked to Unity House we can give it and the existing business commercial stability.”
Wakefield BID manager, Elizabeth Murphy said of the news: “This is great for the BID because there were genuine fears the city could lose a valuable resource. Unity has the potential to attract more newer visitors to the city for business and leisure and being run by a company y already successful in the city centre is a huge boost. I am delighted it is here for future generations.”
Ambitious to turn the fortunes of Unity Hall Business Space around for the existing commercial businesses and to attract back music and live events Mr Green said Unity Bars and Clubs wanted to reopen it before it fell into disrepair and could be salvaged.
“Unity House wins because there is nowhere quite like it in the city. It offers banqueting, conference, live events and hospitality as well as office space to numerous business. The event furniture and technical equipment is still on site after purchasing all existing fixtures and fittings prior to auction and the major and minor halls are waiting to welcome back the big-name performers who have previously played and performed here, we are also open to new events and looking forward to working with Wakefield College of music and various charities,” he said.
“Already we are talking to the team behind Wakefield Beer Festival and Wakefield Business Week who have held hugely successful high-profile events at Unity House in previous years as well as other businesses and individuals who had made bookings hoping to persuade them to consider Unity House again for their events
“Having stripped out a lot of cost we are confident we can make it work. The previous business was largely grant driven; we are a commercially mature business team with a lot of experience and the determination to make it work.” he added.