City of Wolverhampton Council has announced plans to close some buildings and to cancel council-run events as a public safety precautionary measure.

Council buildings and visitor attractions, including all public libraries and community hubs, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Bantock House, Archives and Bilston Craft Gallery will be closed to the public from tonight (Thursday 19 March) until further notice.

WV Active leisure centres, the Slade Rooms and Bilston Town Hall, will also close to ensure the health and safety of visitors and frontline staff.

Public events taking place in the City of Wolverhampton over the coming months will be cancelled or postponed until further notice.

This means all events and organised activities in Wolverhampton’s parks, libraries and cultural venues will not be going ahead as planned. It also includes events organised by the City Council and all events organised by external partners.

Local parks and all Wolverhampton markets – which provide essential food and supplies for local residents - currently remain open to the public.

The announcement is in line with government advice on non-essential social contact or travel around the UK in response to dealing with the current COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield said: “These are unprecedented times and they call for unprecedented measures. Our absolute priority has got to be to protect this city and our residents from the harm of Covid-19.

“We are closely following the national public health advice whilst working hard to deliver some services differently. We will strive, as far as possible, to limit the impact on our residents – especially the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Our library service will be increasing access to eBooks and eAudiobooks and library staff are producing online activity sheets and online story-times to help keep adults and children occupied. We are also exploring mobile library deliveries and online reader groups.

“I recognise this is a challenging and worrying time for everyone and I want to reassure residents that we will continue to monitor the situation and take the necessary steps - in line with government guidance - to keep everyone safe in our city.”

The following services are affected by this announcement:

Cultural and other venues: Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Bantock House, City Archives, Bilston Craft Gallery, the Slade Rooms and Bilston Town Hall will be closed to the public until further notice.

Libraries: All city Libraries and Community Centres are closed until further notice: Ashmore Park Library, Bilston Library, Blakenhall Library, Collingwood Library, East Park Library, Finchfield Library, Long Knowle Library, Low Hill Library, Pendeford Library, Penn Library, Spring Vale Library, Tettenhall Library, Warstones Library, Wednesfield Library Whitmore Reans Library, Wolverhampton Central Library.

Public events: All public events are cancelled with immediate effect until further notice. 

WV Active: WV Active centres - Aldersley, Bilston-Bert Williams and Central will be fully closed from 20 March until further notice. All events due to take place have been postponed and home workouts will be available for members via the WV Active website. All members have been informed of these recent changes and direct debit payments have been frozen. 

Parks: Our parks will remain open as usual and we encourage residents to make use of them during this time. However, park events are cancelled until further notice.

Markets: Our markets will remain open and a robust cleaning regime will remain a priority. However, all market events and themed markets are postponed or cancelled until further notice.

Marriage and Civil Partnership Ceremonies: All marriage and civil partnership ceremonies at council owned venues are postponed until further notice with no cost for rebooking or cancelling. Venues include: The City Suite, Bantock House, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, The Archives. No further bookings will be taken during this period.

Citizenship ceremonies: Current advice is that these will take place as normal but as private events.

Mayoral events: All mayoral events and engagements are cancelled with immediate effect until further notice. 

For more information on City of Wolverhampton Council’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and what to do if you need support, visit Coronavirus advice and information.

For the latest NHS and Government advice, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response.