City of Wolverhampton Council’s transformation of the Civic Halls has been shortlisted in the 2024 Midlands Constructing Excellence Awards.

The iconic venue is in the running for the best Regeneration & Retrofit honour in the Midlands region.

Winners will be announced at an awards dinner on Thursday 2 May at Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

The Civic Halls, now known as The Halls Wolverhampton, reopened in May 2023 following a £48 million refurbishment programme to ensure the 85 year old Grade II listed building remains part of the city’s fabric for generations to come.

A complex construction programme resulted in the height above the stage to the rear of the Civic Hall being increased to attract bigger and better shows.

It also led to the provision of more comfortable seats, more bars and space to socialise, expanded and revamped toilet facilities, lift access to new balconies, better access arrangements for disabled visitors (including enhanced wheelchair access), a greater number of accessible viewing points and improved room temperatures through the installation of a new air conditioning system.    

Following the extensive and critical construction work undertaken by the council, the new The Halls operator AEG Presents led on internal renovations to the front of house bars and kitchen fitouts, creating a venue that offers both the very best facilities, as well as first rate acoustics. 

The 3,404 capacity ‘The Civic at The Halls Wolverhampton’ and 1,289 ‘The Wulfrun at The Halls Wolverhampton’ is providing a major uplift to the city centre economy, hosting leading music and entertainment performers, as well as business events and conferences. 

It is estimated it will attract more than 300,000 visitors a year to the city, boosting the local economy by over £10million annually. 

Council Leader, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “The council demonstrated bold and ambitious thinking to take this very challenging project on and because of our efforts we landed a 25 year lease with world class operator to run the venue.

“There has been excellent feedback from artists, managers, agents, promoters and ticket holders to the new look of the halls and it is raising the city’s national and international profile.

“The venue’s rich heritage has been preserved and our vision of reimagining an iconic institution that will continue to bring joy to the lives of locals – and city visitors - for years to come has been realised.

“The Halls Wolverhampton is going from strength to strength and is helping bring the feel good factor back to the city centre. It is fostering growing confidence in Wolverhampton, acting as a catalyst for more investment and unlocking development potential at our City Centre West and St George’s sites through partnerships with Capital&Centric and English Cities Fund respectively.”

Further to the refurbishment of the building, the council has also improved the environment on the streets outside the halls to create quality space for the public, enhancing the experience for visitors to the venue.

It is all part of a transformation creating new destinations, better public spaces and inner city living opportunities, coupled to a broader entertainment and events programme, to attract more visitors - helping both existing and new businesses to thrive and grow.