The main entrance and reception of City of Wolverhampton Council's Civic Centre headquarters will temporarily close in the New Year to allow for essential repairs and maintenance.

From Tuesday 3 January, all visitors to the building will need to walk the short distance to the back of the building off Wulfruna Street where a temporary reception will be located.

The route to the temporary reception will be clearly signposted.

The works are expected to last for up to 7 weeks and are being done as part of an ongoing programme of essential repairs and maintenance to extend the life of the building which is almost 40 years old.

When the main entrance reopens towards the end of February, it will coincide with the unveiling of a new customer services area on the ground floor.

Councillor Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for resources, apologised for any inconvenience but said he hoped it would cause minimum disruption.

He added: "As we continue the ongoing repairs and maintenance to save taxpayers £500,000 a year, improve customer services and extend the life of the 40 year old Civic Centre our contractors need to work on the reception area for up to 7 weeks.

"During this time, access will be via the rear entrance off Wulfruna Street where a temporary reception desk will be set up. We do apologise for any inconvenience, but we don't foresee major disruption.

"It is a very short diversion on foot to the other side of the building which will be clearly signposted. Anyone coming up from the underground car park will still be able to use the lifts from the car park to access the inside of the building.

"When the reception area opens towards the end of February, it will coincide with the unveiling of our new customer service centre which will create a much better, purpose built facility for visitors to the building."

The essential repairs and maintenance programme got underway in March this year with the refurbishment of the underground car park which was completed in September. Work commenced in May on extensive mechanical and electrical repairs on three floors inside the Civic Centre itself.

Outdated systems including electrics, heating and fire alarms which were at serious risk of breaking down are being replaced and asbestos is being removed. Office space is also being modernised to enable staff in outlying offices to move into the building.

The overall scheme will save taxpayers more than £500,000 a year by enabling the closure of outlying offices which are expensive to run and maintain. The programme is due to be completed by 2018.

  • released: Wednesday 21 December, 2016