Almost 50 businesses will benefit from Wolverhampton Council’s city centre west Relaunch Grant – with only a handful of traders choosing not to apply.

Almost 90% of eligible businesses submitted applications by 30 June deadline for the scheme, which offers businesses a one-off amount of £5,000, even though the council is not legally obliged to do so. 

It is not intended to recompense for loss or hardship but to help businesses seize upon the opportunities created by the multi million pound works that have delivered new public realm and events spaces to drive footfall in the Victoria Street and North Street areas of the city centre.

Thirty-three businesses have already received the grant with a further 16 asked to supply additional information required to process their applications successfully.

City of Wolverhampton Council Acting Leader and Cabinet Member for Inclusive City Economy, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “We are supporting these businesses in ways other councils wouldn’t to help them maximise the benefits of our transformational city centre works.

“The Victoria Street and North Street areas are now fully open following extensive public realm improvement works. They are part of a £22million package of investment in the west of the city centre that is much-needed if we are to breathe new life into it, with high streets up and down the country continuing to struggle in the current economic climate.

“A better environment has been created that is attracting more visitors and will enable businesses to thrive and grow through a blended approach of retail supported by events and activities in quality public spaces and city centre living.

“Businesses have already benefitted from key events like the first Wolverhampton Arts Festival held by The Framer’s Gallery, Enjoy Wolverhampton and the council, the Food, Drink and Artisan Market, and Pride - all bringing thousands of visitors to this part of the city centre - with more events to come.

“We’re also developing a new Box Space entertainment venue, just off Victoria Street, which is set to open in 2024, and people are enjoying the new space around The Halls Wolverhampton, which has reopened to rave reviews from local businesses, who are already benefitting from the 300,000-plus visitors a year the venue will attract and the £10million annual boost to the local economy.”