Huge plan for Wolverhampton city centre revealed

The Mander and Wulfrun Centres will be offered space to expand and a new public square built in Wolverhampton under ambitious plans revealed today.

MANDER TS 19

The Mander and Wulfrun Centres will be offered space to expand and a new public square built in Wolverhampton under ambitious plans revealed today.

Council chiefs are hoping to resurrect the city centre’s fortunes following the failed £300 million Summer Row shopping centre development.

Today they ruled out creating a brand new shopping centre, instead focusing on family leisure, smaller retail sites, offices and “consolidating” what is already there.

Rather than commission specific schemes, such as the now abandoned 60,000 sq ft Summer Row dream, the council is asking developers what they want to build.

Around 50 potential investors descended on Molineux for a private meeting yesterday. Charles Green, interim director for education and enterprise at Wolverhampton City Council, revealed the Mander and Wulfrun Centres would be given the space to expand if their owners want to.

The council also wants to buy up shops in Victoria Street and Cleveland Street, many of which are already empty because of the eight-year wait for Summer Row.

It plans to create a square, similar to Queen Square, and will offer the Mander Centre a new entrance. New open spaces are also proposed for Cleveland Street and in front of Wolverhampton’s Central Library.

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Comments for: "Huge plan for Wolverhampton city centre revealed"

Colin

It would be far better to demolish the Mander and Wulfrun Centres and start again!

Rob H

Funny I was thinking exactly the same thing as I read the article.

Amb

Excellent idea, time for wolverhampton to have some decent shops like birmignham!

a H&M would be lovely!

Walter Wall

More 'pie-in-the-sky' proposals; Unless we get rid of the jobsworths in the council and the agenda led councillors, Wolverhampton's shocking rate of decline will only increase; It says it all when we lose a parliamentary seat to Walsall; Give it ten years and Wolverhampton will be a suburb of Greater Birmingham, after all that is the national policy being pushed at City Hall and in Whitehall with the collusion of certain apparatchiks around here;

Why not have an open competition where we all can put forward our short,medium and long-term plans up for discussion, with a standard template of presentation provided by the council, overseen by an independent body made up of all sectors of business, with local and national politicians and a cabal of residents who are NOT the usual suspects, where every idea is assessed in an un-biased manner.

PJW Holland

what about car parks? multi-storey!... or spend some money on a ring road fly-over from St John's to North Street thus enabling radial traffic to be demerged from through traffic... How about re-opening the road network in the City Centre?

Leisure? Do they mean replacing Wolverhampton's vandalised cinemas? Do they intend to bring back, into the centre, some of the facilities they have forced out into desolate suburbs (like Bingo halls and the like?). Do they mean investing in new leisure facilities like an ice-rink, a conference centre or what?

Steph

Wolverhampton's vandalised cinemas?

I work at Light House in the city centre and there is nothing wrong with our cinema!!

PJW Holland

I never said there was, although I have yet to locate the place. It is well hidden!

If you have a mind for history you might remember the Savoy, the Gaumont, The Odeon, The Scala, The Queens,The various district Odeons, The Clifton and the district Cliftons... Cast your mind back further and there were the Electric, The Picture House, The Olympic, The Rex, The West End..... and more.

The major cinemas, in Wton, were making considerable profits when they closed down to make way for derelection, bingo (short-lived) shops or etc. The land was worth more than the business it seemed.

How fate turns round and bites you in the ankles!

what do we know

hard to find? hardly the old chubb building its the biggest building you can see walking straight out of train station!

Wendy

Don't forget the Carlton in Horseley Fields and the Olympia in Skinner Street too

PJW Holland

and then what? The Chubb building is plain enough. The presence of a cinema is not.

The Scala is more obvious... oops. They're knocking it down!

true brit

It never ceases to amaze me we are supposed to be skint as a country yet even more shops are on the drawing board to be built a good percentage of shops in nearly every town are enpty why build more i believe we are well past saturation point.

ann o

We need to build shops that are not to expensive to rent. most landlords are greedy people who would rather sit around with a empty shop than reduce the rent and get someone in . They should be made to lower the cost of rent

what do we know

er one question why ?? esp as consumers have stopped shopping on the high street as its way cheaper to buy online, and theres no sign of this economic down turn ending. So why waste money on this, if queen square is empty now why create another one to also be empty ? makes no sense what so ever ! summer row was a complete waste no one wanted it and what sense does putting shops away from the center make, that 300 million would have been better used to sort out all the derelict shops that are already in the center that give the town the 'dump' rep it still has. but hey what do i know i just pay taxes.

soggy_wolf

Another stupid, pointless waste of money. I wondered what the next one would be after they finished the new bus station.

jason.s

Sounds like good news for wolverhampton,1st JLR comes to wolverhampton and now the city centre to get a massive facelift,lets hope the council don't mess it up!

English Exile

Just close it (Wolverhampton).

Just as Bilston, Willenhall, Wednesfield and others are just ghost towns now because Wolverhampton became the main Hub, Wolverhampton has now been allowed to become a satellite of Birmingham.

No use throwing good money after bad, Wolverhampton has ''gone''.

Birmingham is now the Capital of the West Midlands.

Rob H

I beg to differ. I don't like Birmingham now. I prefer Shrewsbury - its a much nicer place to shop than the Birmingham dump!

Slummy Mummy

The Mander centre along with the rest of Wolverhampton (shopping) is a dead loss now and I fail to see how this help in anyway. Since the demise of so many retail businesses in the last two years all that's left is empty shop after empty shop. Exactly how many empty shops are in the Mander Centre alone ???

ann o

More shops will move into the area if its improved. and people will shop there again.

Its what we need so much Yipppppeee

capt manwering

what shops will move in exactly? the ones that have and are leaving. the area mentioned in the article was revamped not that long ago. its not a revamp thats needed its new business thats needed and that wont happen in economic downturn. if new shops were needed then summer row wouldnt have fallen flat on its face!

ann

summer row fell through because they did not have the money in the first place, not because people did not want to rent the shops, some hugh companies were down to have them .

expandite

Expand, expand, expand at your peril! I thought that was a business principle? It certainly was an empire principle! see Romans, British etc Expand too far and it becomes unsupportable

An even larger shopping centre with no shops other than at Bentley Bridge!

No jobs, no money, no future but lets be positive and expand shopping so people can look into the windows.

Can you not see the trends or the affects of recession. Oh yes, lets grow jobs out of the recession!

Maybe you should have crystal balls instead of iPads!

Andy

This is a joke, this city is frankly a mess and going down the pan quickly because the council are useless. Make it easier to do business in the city and give people a reason to come out, reduce the rates, clean the streets up and discourage £1 shops and junk shops, do something about the constant beggars and tramps, chuggers.

As nothings happening on the ring road where the old scala was, why not make that a small bit of green?? Flatten the land out, dump a load of soil from the i54 on it and grass it over, stick a fence up round it and done, nice bit of green for people to use in the nearby offices!

The council really needs to look at whats been done in the likes of Birmingham and Nottingham to see how to do redevelopments.

Stop wasting money on focus groups and consultants and wastage, get a group together of businesses, developers and city people and discuss the real issues and decide what can be done easily and what needs more effort, its not difficult in reality, just need to be radical and pull your fingers out!

Mr R.Anthony

Instead of making an open space for drunks and dropouts to abuse why don't you do something constructive in the city centre.

I was in Torquay last week and they have a shopping centre a bit like Dudley Street, but they run the buses along the centre of the road and have stops outside the shops, where people want to shop instead of on the outskirts like you do in Wolverhampton, meaning the shoppers have to walk distances to get to where they want to go. This is more convenient for the people who want to shop in the city centre.

Also parking should be free for the first 1-2 hrs in the carparks so that people who want to do a quick shop can do so without the extra expense.

Peter

Another white elephant. When will Wolverhampton Council spend money on things people want or need?

what do we know

never has and never will,

Steve Briscoe

Well done at least the council are not standing still like dudley council!

JJ

Maybe open up the shops later so the people who work and actually have money to spend can come and spend it.

Just a suggestion.

ann o

Good Idea jj very good. It would be good to shop when we leave work if we need to rather than running around in lunch break

bilbrookwolves

I think Wolverhampton needs to decide where it wants to stand in the whole town thing, either spend big and make it a pleasure to go there not full of empty shops and tramps as it is or give it up as to be fair we have Birmingham and Merry Hill both within reasonable distance. However I would prefer Wolverhampton to decide to invest big as its my home town.

Jay

It doesn’t matter how much money they waste, people are always going to take the short hop to Birmingham. Get rid of some of the million Subways and Gregs and put decent shops in like Birmingham has..oh and get rid of the charity beggars on Dudley St..they are the ones probably scaring most people away ^_^

sedgley smiler

I think wolverhampton needs to do something like this to improve it for shoppers. I think there is a decission to make on either allowing buses down dudley street, or covering it so we have a huge inside area more like merry hill. Currently Merry hill is a much nicer experience over wolverhampton, however i still think wolves has a wider choice in shops. Meery hill is great for fashion and food, but only has a coupleof toys shops in addiction, where as wolves has a bit of everything, although could have more, and of a better quality.

stjoe

What makes me laugh is how Places like Wolverhampton achieved city status.Dudley is after the same,yet there is no investment into the town centre.How do these councils think they are going to encourage business into the centres? Let's hope Wolverhampton has some success,althoughh I think out of town shopping centres seem to be more popular at the moment simply because of what they have to offer over the drab lack of choice alternatives. Oh and free parking as well!

garry

I just hope wolverhampton doesnt end up with more phone, tacky cheap clothing or pound stores!!

M&S have already decided to downgrade from a large store to a medium store, they will be losing the third floor, so everything will be crammed in and probably end up like a proper jumble sale!!

I heard from the centre manager that they were trying to attract big name stores to the centre (debenhams into TJ hughes vacant store is one i have heard) i just hope this happens and we are not let down as we have been so many times in the past!!!

Rob H

As I said in the reply to the first comment....the Mander centre and Wulfrun centres should be knocked down and the whole lot rebuilt from scratch...If it looked like Telford it would be half decent.

My preference if I get the choice is Shrewsbury for shopping. It has very few empty shops. It has many independent stores which I like for choice. Just wish I had the money to spend more.

ann

The independent stores are the answer, not massive overpriced stores, but somewere u can go for help and advice and the staff know what they are talking about, Cleveland st should be this its in a fantastic area to do it, Some of the shops there are independent and very helpful, and there are a few specialist shops to that need to stay,

Robert

As my father used to say," It is so easy to spend other peoples' money".

Are the council proposing something that they want or what we, the ordinary people want?

Jonesey

I'd sooner go to Birmingham, have a wide choice of shops and decent nightlife, at least its cleaner and the people more pleasant

Craig

Here we go again. Big plans from a council that doesn't seem to realise that now is not the time to waste even more money on pie in the sky ideas. Once the new Tescos and Sainsbury stores open, Wolverhampton city centre is just going to be a ghost town with nothing but empty shops. Why doesn't the council come up with good ideas that will help boost current and future busineses in the city like help cutting the over inflated rents and rates?

Jbh

It all seems a significant waste of money to me. There is too much over supply of retail space as it is. When you consider the huge expansion of retail sites across the west midlands over 20 years it's not difficult to understand the reasons for so many empty shops . Why would anyone want any more? You might see retailers move between sites if they can persuade landlords to do the a deal at entry but this just creates another empty shop elsewhere . Might be better to spend money on renovation and improving the feel of the place. Birmingham and Merry Hill offer better quality on the doorstep. The council iwould just be helping Peter to rob Paul.