Join us at the YHACS/Civic Voice Convention in Wakefield

Following on from the success of the Civic Voice Spring Convention in Halifax last May, hosted with Halifax Civic Trust, we are pleased to confirm that YHACS has once again teamed up with Civic Voice to organise a second Spring Convention in our region. This year, the event will be in Wakefield on 12th & 13th April , where Wakefield Civic Society will be our hosts.

Booking is now open at Wakefield Civic Society’s Eventbrite page here:

The theme for this year’s Convention is Heritage and Culture-led Regeneration, twin prongs of an approach being taken across Wakefield District to bring new life – and investment – into the area. And there is a lot happening in Wakefield at the moment!

One of Wakefield’s key buildings, believed to date from 1590, that has been refurbished through the Heritage Action Zone project.

A £4m four-year High Street Heritage Action Zone is drawing to a close, having led to the refurbishment of a number of key buildings as well as public realm improvements along Westgate, one of the main thoroughfares in and out of the city. Meanwhile, the district is benefiting from grants from other sources, including Town Deal and Levelling Up funding, Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund in addition to investment from private-sector businesses.

But the investment isn’t just targeted at bricks and mortar – there is also a vibrant cultural programme being delivered and 2024 is Wakefield District’s ‘year of culture’, branded Our Year 2024.

Importantly, local civic societies across the district work closely with the Council and other stakeholders to help deliver the vision for the Wakefield District as a great place in which to live, work – and visit.

Through an exciting line-up of guest speakers, the Convention will highlight how public investment and private-sector enterprise can not only shape places but can also transform them. Although what is happening in Wakefield will be used as a case study, there are lessons that can be applied elsewhere and some of the guest speakers will open up the subject matter to what is happening across the region and beyond.

Wakefield Civic Society will share their experiences of working with the Council and developers to show how partnership working can be a productive way of not only boosting the reputation of civic societies, but also recruiting new members.

There are a number of elements to the Convention programme, which starts on Friday afternoon at 2pm. Details are as follows:

Friday, 12th April, 2pm to 4pm: Guided walks

Explore the Westgate High Street Heritage Action Zone with a free guided walk led by Wakefield Civic Society.

Friday, 12th April 7pm to 10.30pm: Convention Dinner

To be held at Create Café in the city centre, where Convention delegates will have exclusive use of the facilities. There will be a drinks reception, pre-dinner talk (to be confirmed), a three-course dinner with wine, followed by coffee and mints. Cost per person is just £45.

Saturday, 13th April, 10am to 4pm, Civic Voice Spring Convention

The venue for the Convention is CAPA College (directly opposite Westgate Railway Station), a new, purpose-built college building for the performing arts (and a Wakefield Civic Society Design Award winner). Doors open at 9.30am for tea/coffee and pastries and the Convention then starts at 10am.

The morning session will look at Heritage-led Regeneration and will feature presentations from Wakefield Council, developers Rushbond and Historic England among others.

The afternoon session will look at Culture-led Regeneration and guest speakers will include representatives from Wakefield Council, a local artist, and Wakefield Civic Society among others. There will also be news from YHACS and Civic Voice. The line-up of speakers is still being confirmed but keep an eye on the Eventbrite page for all the latest news. The event will close at 4pm.

The cost to attend the Convention only is just £40 but there is an option to book for both the Dinner and Convention together for £80, saving £5 on the cost of booking separately. The event is open to all – civic society members, representatives from other amenity societies and individuals interested in the items covered by the agenda.

For anyone looking to stay overnight, the Holiday Inn Express is a hotel to consider. It is close to the venues and a short walk from Westgate Railway Station. Although it has a small car park, there is 24-hour overnight parking available in the adjacent Ridings Shopping Centre car park.

If you have any questions, please email Kevin Trickett at

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