Full works will start next week to transform the street scene around the refurbished Civic Halls ready for its Autumn 2022 reopening under world-leading venue operator and concert promoter, AEG Presents.
The improvements to the environment around the halls will create quality space for the public and enhance the experience for visitors to the iconic venue when it opens its doors again 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.
Initial works will see the construction of a new carriageway link between Paternoster Row and North Street to help traffic flow around the halls. Site clearance, surveying and drainage checks in this area have already been completed by contractors Eurovia.
It is one phase of works to better connect the city centre, improve the public environment, create events spaces and support businesses, funded from the £15.7million the council secured from the Government’s Future High Street Fund.
It is envisaged the works will also unlock a wider package of investment, creating hundreds of new jobs, the opportunity to deliver hundreds of new city centre homes, and a hotel.
City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Environment and Climate Change, Councillor Steve Evans, said: “We’re excited by the opportunity to work with the AEG Presents team to deliver the new-look Civic Halls and we’re investing in the public space outside the building so the whole customer experience is fantastic for visitors to the iconic venue.
“This is the next phase in developing a world class venue and space that will act as economic driver for the city.
“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 in 2022, with the Commonwealth Games cycling time trial, British Art Show 9, our first-ever Creation Day Festival in addition to the reopening of our Civic Halls.”
Phase one of the public realm works is underway on the west of the city centre on Salop Street and Victoria 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.