Life in Wakefield

Wakefield is where most of our full-time students choose to live. The city was recently voted in the top 20 ‘arty’ places to live by the Daily Telegraph, alongside places such as Oxford, Edinburgh, Bath, Camden and Stratford–upon–Avon. It was also voted one of the top places to live in Britain by The Sunday Times. The Hepworth Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park are central to this renaissance.

  • Where are we based?

    Where are we based?

    Backstage Academy is located in South Kirkby, West Yorkshire. The nearest city is Wakefield, which is situated between a number of larger cities, Leeds (15 mins away), York (40 mins away) and Sheffield (50 mins away). All are easily accessible by bus and train. Wakefield offers many different forms of entertainment for students, catering for all interests both cultural and social.

  • Local connections

    Local connections

    Backstage Academy is forging close links with key entertainment venues in Wakefield that will present you with ongoing opportunities for valuable work experience and networking. The Academy has created partnerships with Wakefield Theatre Royal, Wakefield College’s new theatre and performing arts centre, and will be working closely with the new multi-million pound Unity Hall, which is due to launch in September 2014.


  • Live music

    Live music

    Wakefield has a flourishing live music scene with thriving venues. Unity Works hosts acts such as Mr Scruff, Embrace and Cage the Elephant, whilst the The Hop and Warehouse 23 have packed schedules too. The city also hosts Long Division, an annual music and cultural festival that takes place across the city centre.

    Leeds is home to an eclectic and thriving music scene, with plenty of gigs and venues to suit any music-lover’s taste. From Brudenell Social Club, to the O2 Academy and Leeds First Direct Arena, you could catch anyone from the next big thing to the world’s biggest artists. Since opening in 2013, the arena has seen the likes of Drake, Florence + The Machine, Sir Elton John, The Killers and Pharrell Williams pass through. The home of one of the UK’s biggest music festivals, Leeds Festival, is just 30 minutes away.

    Alternatively head to Sheffield, home of the Arctic Monkeys and its very own multi-venue festival, Tramlines.


  • Get active

    Get active

    Wakefield offers a wealth of activity to suit all interests – fans of water can try out sailing, kayaking and windsurfing at Pugneys Country Park, there’s the multi-million pound Sun Lane Leisure Centre or for adrenalin junkies looking for thrills head to Xscape in Castleford, with a 170m real snow ski slope, indoor surfing, climbing and much more. Much of Wakefield district is rural with a vast range of country parks to explore either on foot or on two wheels.


  • Culture vulture

    Culture vulture

    Wakefield is home to the award-winning Hepworth Gallery, the largest purpose-built exhibition space outside of London, which celebrates the work of Wakefield born artist Barbara Hepworth. Wakefield Museum celebrates the rich history of the town whilst further afield Yorkshire Sculpture Park is one of the leading open air art galleries in the world. Explore the remains of Sandal Castle or visit the National Coal Mining Museum to discover the hidden world of mining through the centuries.


  • Wakefield communities

    Wakefield communities

    There is a wide range of local societies and activity clubs for you to get involved with, from Wakefield Film Society to Wakefield Sailing Club.


  • Shopping


    When it comes to shopping, you can stay local and take advantage of Wakefi eld’s new Trinity Walks shopping centre or catch a 15 minute train into Leeds; rated the best UK city for shopping by the Rough Guide to Britain. From quirky independent stores to all the major high street names, there is something to suit all tastes.