City of Wolverhampton Council has landed one of the world’s leading venue operators and concert promoters to run the city’s iconic Civic Halls.
AEG Presents – part of the AEG global sports, entertainment and venue operator family – beat off premier competition to secure the long-term deal.
AEG Presents will be supported by ASM Global, the world’s leading venue operator to deliver a first class customer experience in the venue including sales, marketing, food & beverage and other services.
The Civic Halls are due to reopen in early 2022 following a major multi-million-pound refurbishment programme. Once open, the famous venue will play a key part in the city’s economic recovery and ‘relight’ and will again host leading musical and entertainment acts, business events and conferences. It will attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city and boost the local economy by millions of pounds at a vital time.
AEG Presents own and operate over 40 venues including the iconic Eventim Apollo London, Indigo at the award winning The O2 arena in London, and the recently announced new live music venue at Olympia London. They will now bring forward exciting and ambitious plans for the Civic Halls with bigger and better acts and events. Plans will also benefit local businesses, see new jobs created and raise the city’s national and international profile.
AEG Presents will also work with development contractor, Willmott Dixon Interiors, on exciting plans for the final stages of the transformation of the Grade II listed building. The improvements, allied to the expertise of a leading operator, will ensure the halls remain a leading venue on the entertainment circuit for generations of audiences to come.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield, said:
“This is a huge coup and massive vote of confidence in the council’s strategy and in our fantastic city. AEG Presents are a leading, global brand who see the immense opportunity and potential that both the Civic Halls and our city have to offer.
“We’re excited by the opportunity to work with the AEG Presents team to relight our Civic Halls, supported by council investment to reimagine the public space outside and complemented by our plans to bring a premier hotel brand to the heart of the city as part of our Westside re-phasing.
“AEG Presents’ passion for the iconic halls and ambition for the future matches our own and this partnership will not only deliver an outstanding venue with top-class entertainment for generations to come – it will be a keystone of our wider plans to reimagine the city centre, to create local jobs and grow vital local businesses. Never has this been more needed than now, as we plot a path out of the pandemic.
“The Civic Halls is an integral part of Wolverhampton’s entertainment and music heritage and an important part of our visitor economy. We believe – and this belief is shared by AEG Presents – that it has the potential to become a recognised venue not just regionally and nationally, but also internationally.
“The re-opening and the successful operation of the halls will reap big rewards – not only because it won’t cost the taxpayer a penny – but just as importantly in terms of jobs and economic benefit for our city as we look to relight from the impact of the pandemic.”
AEG Presents CEO, Steve Homer, said:
“Wolverhampton Civic Halls has a great history of being a first class venue for live music, when looking to expand our portfolio of venues it was the obvious choice.
“The council’s ambition, commercial drive and significant investment coupled with our desire to provide high quality entertainment and customer service will forge a great partnership for years to come.
“Alongside the council, we are delighted to be part of the team to further the growth of the city and look forward to some amazing events in the Civic Halls. On a personal note, having attended my first ever live concert at the Civic Hall, I am delighted to help shape the future of this great venue.”
The works being undertaken by Willmott Dixon Interiors inside the halls will see the height above the stage to the rear of the Civic Hall increased to attract bigger and better shows.
Overall, there will be wider and more comfortable seats, more bars and more space to socialise, expanded and revamped toilet facilities to give visitors an improved experience, lift access to new balconies, better access arrangements for disabled visitors (including enhanced wheelchair access), a greater number of accessible viewing points, and improved room temperatures through the installation of a new air conditioning system.
Image caption (L-R): Council Leader, Cllr Ian Brookfield, AEG Presents CEO, Steve Homer, Cabinet Member for City Economy, Cllr Stephen Simkins, and Council Chief Executive, Tim Johnson, outside Wolverhampton Civic Halls.