City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet will be asked next Wednesday (22 March) to approve the delivery strategy for 3 key schemes that will transform the city centre’s leisure, residential and commercial offer.

This forms part of the city’s approach to Levelling Up after being identified as one of the initial 2 pathfinder locations in the Levelling Up White Paper, with the council working closely with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to explore opportunities.

The trio of investment and development opportunities – also outlined in the city’s investment prospectus officially launched at MIPIM today (Tuesday) - include the sites at City Centre West (formerly referred to as Westside), St George’s (the site of the former Sainsbury’s supermarket), and the Accelerated Sites portfolio.

Each scheme will be subject to full business case development and future Cabinet approvals as the detail develops.

City Centre West includes development opportunities focusing on residential, commercial and leisure uses, linked by high quality public realm through to The Halls Wolverhampton and Molineux.  
The area has seen recent development activity and growing developer interest and will form part of the Levelling Up agenda for the city.

Homes England has been working closely with the council to develop a shared vision and set of objectives for the city centre’s regeneration, this includes supporting the council to secure a master development partner capable of delivering a phased scheme that will be connected to the rest of the city centre by new events spaces and the soon to be completed public realm transformation.

The council is also working with Homes England on a strategy for the St George’s site, which offers 5 acres of land at the heart of the city centre with excellent transport connections. Discussions are ongoing with a preferred development partner over the wider development of the site, including future proposals for the Grade II-listed church. 

Other sites have also been identified that could be delivered at pace. These ‘Accelerated Sites’ include the Interchange 8 office development, together with a potential high-quality hotel offer at Broad Street, and residential opportunities at Steam Mill, Sack Works and Brewers Yard – all sites at the heart of the city centre transport interchange and growing commercial district.

CBRE, as one of the leading hotel specialists, has undertaken in-depth analysis and has recommended a 150-room hotel on the Broad Street site as part of a wider comprehensive development. The Council’s commercial advisor, Knight Frank, has also undertaken a full market review that confirms a continued demand for new Grade-A office space in Wolverhampton.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “The Wolverhampton Investment Prospectus presents an ambitious vision of how the city can grow – highlighting opportunities to build on the levels of public and private sector investment already on site or in the pipeline in Wolverhampton.

“These three schemes provide us with the opportunity to deliver further strategic regeneration in the city centre supporting housing delivery, jobs, commercial offer, business rates and council tax as well as wider impacts of vibrancy and footfall.

“We need to work with Government partners now to ensure we capitalise on the city’s pathfinder status referenced in the February 2022 Levelling Up White Paper and the opportunities for investment that presents.”