City of Wolverhampton Council’s multi-million-pound transformation of the city centre will begin gathering pace this week.
Contractors Eurovia are carrying out major improvement works in the Victoria Street area and on roads around the Civic Halls - requiring some road closures and diversions to be put in place.
The works - funded from the £15.7million the Council secured from the Government’s Future High Street Fund - are designed to better connect the west of the city centre, improve the public environment, create events spaces and support businesses.
Victoria Street is closed to traffic permanently, while a road closure is expected to be in place on Salop Street, between its junctions with School Street and Victoria Street, until the end of July. Around the Civic Halls road closures are expected to be in place on North Street and Mitre Fold until the end of September.
Full details of the diversions in place can be found at Wolverhampton City Centre Public Realm Improvements (office.com)
Phase one of the works will deliver a new public square where Victoria Street meets Skinner Street and Bell Street. It will also see the creation of a box park on Bell Street that will provide a new food and beverage offer and play host to live entertainment. Demolition of unused buildings in Cleveland Parade will enable the creation of a car park for visitors to the box park and neighbouring businesses.
The improvements to the environment around the Civic Halls will create quality space for the public and enhance the experience for visitors to the iconic venue when it reopens its doors under world-leading venue operator and concert promoter, AEG Presents, following a multi-million-pound overhaul.
The carriageway on North Street will be moved closer to the Civic Centre creating a wider, safer area in front of the halls for gathering crowds. The changes will also include a new designated cycle route through North Street. Mitre Fold will become a pedestrian zone, with access for deliveries only. A new carriageway link between Paternoster Row and North Street is also being constructed to help traffic flow around the halls.
Site clearance, surveying and drainage checks in this area have already been completed by contractors Eurovia.
Cabinet Member for City Environment and Climate Change, Councillor Steve Evans, said:
“We want people to enjoy our city centre from the moment they arrive, and our public realm works will be transformational, forming a key part of Wolverhampton’s recovery plan following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“They will deliver real, tangible benefits for businesses, residents and visitors to our city centre, supporting the development of our five-year events strategy, which will get into full swing this year, with the Commonwealth Games cycling time trial, British Art Show 9, our first-ever Creation Day Festival and the reopening of our Civic Halls.
“To deliver this transformation there will of course need to be a period of disruption for businesses, residents and visitors. But we will strive to keep this to a minimum and would urge people to remain patient as the long-term results will be hugely beneficial for all.”
The Future High Street Fund works will also complement other transformational development schemes already underway or in the pipeline in the city centre, including the £150 million Interchange and commercial district, thousands of new homes at Brewers Yard and Canalside, and a new hotel – all helping to create hundreds of new jobs and further investment opportunities.
Image caption 1: A computer generated image of Victoria Square (courtesy of City of Wolverhampton Council)