The major construction phase of the Civic Halls’ full restoration and improvement programme is set to get the green light – with works set to begin in weeks.
The iconic Grade II listed building has been closed while contractors carry out extensive asbestos removal.
This is now expected to be completed in a matter of weeks. This paves the way for essential structural, engineering and electrical works and the major restoration and improvements of the 80-year-old halls to ensure they remain a leading performance venue for decades to come.
The new programme means the Civic Halls will now re-open for business in autumn 2021, following its £38.1 million overhaul.
The details of the programme will be considered for approval by City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Resources Panel on Tuesday, March 5.
Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said:
“The Civic Halls are a very special place.
“Generations of Wulfrunians and music and comedy fans from across the UK have shared unforgettable memories here with international stars and the biggest bands.
“We’ll be creating a world-class venue for bigger audiences which is exactly what promoters are looking for.
"The Civic Halls are a critical part of how we are re-imagining and re-inventing our city centre, along with great connectivity, great public spaces, great new homes, a great leisure and sporting offer, vibrant events, outstanding arts and culture, and a thriving commercial district.
“It forms part of the groundswell of regeneration activity across the city centre, where £1 billion of investment is on site or in the pipeline.”
Forecasts by creative economy consultants, BOP, last year indicated the improved Civic Halls will benefit the local economy to the tune of around £7.6 million a year and support 548 jobs.
Audience numbers are also expected to increase by over 10,000 a year over the opening first years, up to around 180,000 a year.
Visitors are set to benefit from a second balcony for the Civic Hall and a balcony in the Wulfrun Hall to provide additional seating. The Civic Hall will have an extended stage to the rear to attract bigger and better shows.
Overall, there will be wider and more comfortable seats, bigger and better 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 introduction of a new air conditioning system.
When completed, both venues will be able to cater for around 4,600 people standing and 3,130 people seated in total, an increase of almost 500 and 450 respectively.
Issued by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Corporate Communications Team. For more information, please call 01902 555439.