Bondholder News

Fifth annual Gala Dinner & Performance 2019

The fifth annual Gala Dinner and Performance saw two hundred and eighty guests fill Wakefield Cathedral on Friday 15 March to celebrate and raise money for Theatre Royal Wakefield and their work with young people.

The evening commenced with a two course dinner catered by Wakefield’s Create Café and was followed by an auction in the luxurious surroundings of Wakefield Cathedral. Lots such as cake decorating with Wakefield’s Karen Wright, chance to see Ian McKellen on Stage with a meet and greet and afternoon tea with Mary Creagh MP in the Palace of Westminster, were all generously bidded on. Guests then made their way down to the Theatre for the Gala Performance.

This annual fundraising event supports work with the learning and participation programmes designed by the Theatre in their mission to create great art accessible to all. Beneficiaries include projects for young people like Theatre Royal Wakefield’s Performance Academy, Musical Theatre workshops for learning disabled young people (CHIME), theatre projects for refugee and asylum seekers (Stories) and targeted workshops for older or isolated people.

Hosted by BBC Radio Leeds presenter, Nick Ahad, guests enjoyed performances from juggler Chris Marley, magic from Chris Cross, music from Alison George, Ben Lancaster, Dan Smith and the Punjabi Roots Academy. The evening also showcased plenty of singing and dancing from Theatre Royal Wakefield’s Performance Academy students.

Sarah Shooter, Theatre Royal Wakefield’s Head of Fundraising and Partnerships, said “Each year our Gala Dinner and Performance goes from strength to strength. To be able to raise funds while showcasing what amazing talent we have in Wakefield is a real pleasure. It’s the perfect chance to show all the amazing work that comes from the generous donations this event generates”

Theatre Royal Wakefield offers 60 bursaries for weekly training sessions, which are held in three separate academies across the Wakefield District. To sponsor a bursary place, please contact:

The Gala Dinner 2020 is already set for 13 March next year. Tickets will be available in November.

Fantastic Office Deals at the University Business Centre – Wakefield

The University Business Centre – Wakefield was launched a year ago as a business centre providing private offices to rent, coworking, virtual office services and a full programme of business support including mentoring, training, free legal and financial clinics and a year’s free membership with the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

Clients also benefit from links with Leeds Beckett University including access to graduate talent, knowledge transfer opportunities and academic and research expertise.

Businesses also benefit from gigabit connectivity provided by Exa Networks.

Wakefield BC Pete Rushton

With just a few offices remaining to let, the Centre is currently inviting businesses to take advantage of their current deal of workstations starting from only £60 a month.

If you know of any businesses who might benefit, their online brochure can be viewed here or contact the Centre on 01924 640136.


Artwalk, Wakefield’s long-running alternative cultural ‘late-night’, celebrates the best of local creativity. Taking place on the last Wednesday of January, March, May, July, September and November, Artwalk exists to showcase local, national and international artistic talent in a range of settings.

On Wednesday 27th March, 14 venues across Wakefield city centre will host a range of free art exhibitions, poetry, music, activities and, food and drink for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Taking place from 17:00 – late, residents and visitors are encouraged to discover a few hidden gems as they explore the city. In its own words “Ask anyone who has visited and they’ll tell you, Artwalk is Wakefield’s best kept secret!”

This time around, visitors can enjoy The Hepworth’s late-night opening and see their new exhibition by Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things, rated 5 stars by The Guardian. Or, if it’s music you’re into, catch live performances at The Jolly Tap where Ukes O’clock will be performing as part of Ali Bullivent’s Acoustic World.

If you fancy something a little more interactive, why not explore Westgate Studios or visit Now Serving where you can get involved with ‘Brutalising Blue Peter’ – you’ll have to go along to see what that means!

Food and drink are also available at some venues, including The Art House (launching its latest exhibition by sculptor Tony Heaton on the night) where visitors can indulge in delicious Italian coffee and bakes from Laura’s café.

Artwalk always has a surprise up its sleeve for those bold enough to seek it out. With 14 venues to visit, the Artwalk team recommends you pick up a free map on the night to plan your ideal route.

For more information visit

Wakefield College celebrates Apprentice success…

The Waterton Park Hotel formed the backdrop for Wakefield College’s annual Apprenticeships Awards Ceremony this week. Local business leaders and dignitaries were joined by senior college staff to celebrate the success of apprentices and employers at the glittering awards evening.

The annual ceremony kicked off a week of activities at Wakefield College to coincide with National Apprenticeships Week, recognising those who have shown hard work and commitment, both in their College work and in their workplace.

Businesses that provide apprentices with exceptional support and mentoring were also acknowledged at the ceremony.

The event was attended by the Mayor of Wakefield Metropolitan District, Councillor Stuart Heptinstall, families, Wakefield College Principal, Sam Wright, and nominees in both ‘Employer’ and Apprentice’ categories.

Pictured: Zoe Wright (left) who won the Wakefield College Apprentice of the Year, receives her award from Karen Sykes, Director of HR.

This year’s winners included:
Health and Care Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by Wakefield College
Chloe Sykes-Kinder – Level 3 Dental Nurse (Park View Dental Practice)

Animal Care, Hair & Beauty, Horticulture, Logistics and Sports Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by YPO
Grant Wynn – Level 2 Horticulture (Wakefield Council)

Non-Levy Employer of the Year
Sponsored by Wakefield Council
JBC Industrial Services

Wakefield College Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by Wakefield College
Zoe Wright – Level 3 Customer Service

Higher Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by Chadwick Lawrence
Judith Megson

Automotive and Engineering Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by OE Electrics
Simon Grayston – Level 2 Mechanical Engineering (Hydraulic Equipment Supermarkets)

New Employer of the Year
Sponsored by Business Development at Wakefield College
Phase 3 Consulting

Construction Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by Arcadis
Bailey Matthews – Level 2 Trowel (Jordan Developments Ltd)

Levy Employer Apprentice of the Year Sponsored by Wakefield Council
South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust

Business and Professional Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by Engie
Andrew Smart – Level 2 Business Administration (Card Factory)

Special Recognition
Brian Fisher and Tyler Pickard

Executive Director for Employer Engagement and Apprenticeships, Joanne Taylor said. “Apprenticeships at Wakefield College continue to go from strength to strength and we are delighted so many friends and families could join us. Our fourth annual Apprenticeships Awards Ceremony was another successful event and the perfect opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution apprentices and employers are making to the local economy.”

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