An investment of more than £5m was today (Thursday 3 November) announced by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to help kickstart the first phase of the transformational Brewers Yard regeneration scheme in Wolverhampton city centre.
The investment will pave the way for the first enabling phase in the delivery of almost 600 new homes and hundreds of construction jobs on the site of the existing City of Wolverhampton Council depot in Culwell Street.
The scheme will be the first phase of the wider £250m Brewers Yard regeneration project which will transform a large swathe of the city centre with a mixture of houses and apartments, and around 60,000sq ft of new retail and commercial space.
Brewers Yard is being developed by the city council in partnership with Court Collaboration and with backing from the WMCA.
The Culwell Street investment is just the latest from the WMCA's nationally acclaimed devolved housing and regeneration programme which, in partnership with industry, is regenerating hundreds of acres of former industrial land, often referred to as brownfield, for new homes, jobs and commercial spaces, helping to drive the region’s economic recovery in the process.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “This is another investment in Wolverhampton from the WMCA’s devolved housing and land funds and it’s an important step in delivering the first enabling phase of the Brewers Yard development which will breathe new life into a large swathe of the city centre.
“Not only will it seek to deliver energy efficient and affordable new homes and hundreds of jobs for local people but by regenerating another brownfield site we are also helping to relieve pressure on the green belt.
“Culwell Street site is another example of how the WMCA is helping to unlock sites that were previously considered too difficult to deliver. But all of this has only been possible by the substantial cash we have secured from Government for our ‘brownfield first’ programme. We will continue to work with Wolverhampton and other local councils and developers to unlock and regenerate our old derelict industrial sites and help drive fresh economic growth.”
The council will relocate its fleet services from the Culwell Street depot to a new base on Hickman Avenue alongside the city’s wholesale market, which will also undergo a major revamp.
The WMCA investment will then pay for the demolition of the existing buildings at the depot as well as the clean-up of the land so it is fit and ready for redevelopment.
City of Wolverhampton Council deputy leader and cabinet member for city economy, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “This is an important milestone in delivering Brewers Yard for the City of Wolverhampton – one of the biggest game changing schemes in the region.
“In the coming years phase one will seek to deliver top quality living at the heart of our city, building new communities within existing communities, with connectivity to state of the art transport facilities.
“It will have easy access to a re-invented city centre providing a great leisure and sporting offer, a vibrant public events programme, outstanding arts and culture offer, and a thriving commercial district with well paid jobs.
“The proposed relocation of the council’s depot and fleet services operations will make them more efficient and the redevelopment of the Hickman Avenue site will provide a major uplift to the city’s wholesale market.
“It is all part of £4.4 billion of investment in the City of Wolverhampton that is also delivering jobs and opportunities for local people of all ages.”
Councillor Mike Bird, WMCA portfolio holder for housing and land and leader of Walsall Council, added: “Culwell Street is just one of dozens of industrial sites we are transforming for new homes and jobs, and it demonstrates why the WMCA has earned a reputation as a national leader in brownfield regeneration.
“It is also a good example of how the WMCA is using the money it has secured from Government to support the regeneration of our town and city centres across the whole region and to help drive forward development on locally agreed priority sites.
“Even during the depths of the pandemic, we continued to invest in these sorts of regeneration projects and by refusing to take our foot off the pedal we have helped to provide market confidence and put in place the building blocks needed to help drive the region's post-Covid-19 recovery.”