The South Kirby site is home to more than more than 20 live events and creative businesses, four studios and a cohort of more than 200 students at creative higher education provider Backstage Academy.
Jane Imrie

Wakefield live events hub set for expansion thanks to £12m government loan

A live events facility in West Yorkshire is set for expansion after securing multi-million pound funding from the government.

Production Park has secured a £12m loan this week as part of the government’s £1bn Cultural Recovery Fund from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

The South Kirby site, which has provided rehearsal space for the likes of Coldplay, Little Mix and Peter Kay, is home to more than more than 20 live events and creative businesses, four studios and a cohort of more than 200 students at creative higher education provider Backstage Academy.

The loan aims to drive investment by facilitating growth plans at the site including the construction of XPLOR, a research and development and business incubation facility on site to support local businesses in the live events and creative industries.

The investment will also support Production Park’s plans to expand its existing studio facilities and create managed workspaces, in a bid to nurture emerging talent in the region.

Lee Brooks, CEO of Production Park, commented: “The Production Park team is delighted to receive support through the Cultural Recovery Fund in what has undoubtedly been a very turbulent year for the live events sector across the UK.

“We chose not to apply for a grant and instead opted for a loan, as this enabled us to take a holistic view of the Park’s long-term expansion plans.

“The live events industry has suffered a real blow this year, but this economic stimulus enables us to look ahead to the future. We will create jobs, opportunities, and revenues for years to come, when the sector inevitably bounces back stronger than ever after Covid.”

Roger Marsh OBE DL, chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and NP11, added: “We’re pleased to have supported this important facility and that the Government has recognised the role it will play in building a resilient, inclusive economic recovery.”

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