A variety of City of Wolverhampton investment and development opportunities will be on show at MIPIM next week.
The city’s future is bright and economic growth is being underpinned by an ambitious £132 million interchange scheme – providing transport links any major city would be proud of.
A modern bus station will soon be supported by a new state-of-the-art railway station, with works expected to be completed in early 2019.
It will benefit from an enhanced Birmingham New Street-style ticket office, larger passenger concourse, ample ticket barriers to ease flow onto and off platforms, and much improved retail and café facilities.
Work starting this summer to extend the Metro to the doorstep of the railway station, will result in a fully-integrated transport hub at the heart of the city.
Grade A office and retail space
This outstanding regional and national connectivity, developed against the backdrop of HS2, has already attracted major employers like Tarmac, Countryside, Ovivo and Greene King to base themselves in newly-developed Grade A office and retail space at City of Wolverhampton Council’s award-winning i10 building.
That success has prompted further plans to build i9 – a potential regional headquarters for a global company – and put in place a masterplan to enhance the growing commercial quarter in and around the Interchange.
This will generate a total of 2,250 job opportunities and make it a major regional office location.
City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Coun Roger Lawrence, said: “Competitive rents for high quality offices and HS2 connectivity will help us attract more major employers.
"It will forge our position as being a key player within the wider West Midlands metropolitan area – part of the largest and most significant economic block outside London and the south east. It’s a game-changer.
“There is £3.7 billion of investment currently on site or in the pipeline across the city of Wolverhampton. "As part of this regeneration, it is crucial visitors to our city get the best first impression possible and their travel experience is enhanced – the new state-of-the- art railway station will deliver that.”
Civic Halls, Grand Theatre and Art Gallery
Wolverhampton boasts an attractive entertainment and leisure offer.
This includes the nationally-acclaimed Civic Halls, which are currently undergoing a £14.4 million refurbishment to attract even bigger music and comedy acts.
New life has been breathed into the popular Grand Theatre following a £1 million redevelopment, while Wolverhampton Art Gallery is securing major exhibitions such as the London Natural History Museum’s National Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
Mander Centre investment
The city’s retail offer is on the up, thanks in large part to a £35 million investment in the Mander Centre by Benson Elliot, which will herald the arrival of big-name brand outlets such as H&M and a 90,000-square foot flagship Debenhams store to open in autumn 2017.
City of Wolverhampton Council cabinet member for city economy, Coun John Reynolds, added: “The visitor offer is only going to get better, with Urban & Civic set to deliver a £55 million leisure-led scheme on Westside – including a multiplex cinema with up to 12 screens, 100-plus bed hotel, 60,000 square foot of space for new restaurants, 50,000 square foot of retail space, and a 600-space multi-storey car park.”
This ambitious scheme also includes plans for more than 300 homes – just another example of the private and public sectors working together to deliver high-quality city living opportunities.
In developing housing, the city centre’s heritage has been sensitively and cleverly utilised in projects such as the £11.5 million scheme at the former Sunbeam Factory, which has been converted into more than 100 luxury apartments.
Meanwhile, the Homes & Communities Agency has started work on the first phase of hundreds of new homes at The Royal Wolverhampton – the former Royal Hospital site.
City of Opportunity
A Wolverhampton MIPIM representative said: It is clear to see why Wolverhampton’s improving connectivity, visitor offer and city living offer make it the ‘city of opportunity’.