Wolverhampton’s Market Square 'a missed opportunity'

Wolverhampton’s Market Square was today described as “a disappointment” by the mayor who opened it in a blaze of glory eight years ago.

Wolverhampton's Market Square
Wolverhampton's Market Square

Councillor John Rowley admitted the city council created the square without any idea of what to do with it.

Shop units in the £11.5million development remain empty and a question mark continues to hang over the future of the city’s market.

While other towns and cities use their market squares for big events and concerts, Wolverhampton’s has remained empty.

The former mayor, who opened the development with Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in 2004, said: “We created a large market place but never really decided what we wanted to do with it.

“We missed the opportunity to have a big screen on the square. We need to make more use of it. I feel it is a disappointment.”

Market traders today called for free parking to be introduced in an effort to bring in more people.

Wolverhampton Council says it wants to redevelop the market to attract more visitors, but needs private investment to make the plan a reality.

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Comments for: "Wolverhampton’s Market Square 'a missed opportunity'"


Anyone with an ounce of any sense would have spotted it was in the wrong place. Had it been moved to Dudley Street it may have been successful.


Wolverhampton is a disappointing ghost town. it is in an unrecoverable freefall imho.

PJW Holland

Wolverhampton's council has a long history of deliberate decisions calculated to destroy the market. The Left wing of the local Labour Party saw it as capitalism they could reach and therefore destroy. Unfortunately those plans coincided with the plans of the ultra right business people who saw the market as undercutting their trade.

First the market was moved and therefore the centre. This wiped out one third of the then town centre and led to the closure of the Coop Department store in Lichfield Street... poetic justice perhaps but a really sad loss.

The replacement market was a fraction of the size of the original with massively increased rents and inappropriate concrete stalls. It was remote from transport connections and hence it declined.

Wolverhampton has been a market trading centre since the 13th century or even earlier. Its markets were places farmers from the surrounding counties came to sell their produce. There is little evidence of that now. It is more like a Moroccan bazaar.

That is the true cost of bigotry.... for that was the guiding light in this process. The only way to recover is to move the market back where it came from.... placing the indoor market in the bunker perhaps with the open air market on the site of the original market hall.... Remember too that market hall was a building of considerable historic significance. It was unique.


I agree that they should introduce free parking, especially near the market. I used to pop to the market for half an hour and pick up some fruit and veg, but I begrudge having to pay £1.50/£2 to park for that amount of time. If it was free for the first 2 hours I, and more people, would use the city centre and the market for sure.


Wolverhampton market - what a joke. There isnt even half of these stalls standing compared to when it was first moved. The old concrete stalls were much better, albeit poor also. My Dad and his Dad before him traded on both indoor, and outdoor markets respectively. My Dad worked the outside for over 30 years, before having to give up. No incentives to tempt people in, extortionate rents and parking, silly rules for one and not the other etc.

Remember the days where a vacant stall on the indoor was a very rare site? not now. The council have killed it, and its obvious as many old faces (traders) have packed up, and had to seek jobs elsewhere etc. I'm only 31, and remember some of the families who had been trading on the market over generations. Once the existing remaining ones have gone, who knows what will become of the market.

Worse thing they did was shut school street, then knock down a car park which thousands had been spent bringing it upto spec.

My suggestion now, would be take an empty shop like woolworths old store, make that into an indoor market, and put the outside on in dudley street.


Another labour council cock up to go with the other cock ups they have inflicted on our once proud town


Mea Culpa? If they apologized for all the disastrous policies of the last 25 years, the paper would be full of them for a year! As I have said time and time again, Wolverhampton Council as a whole is not and has never been fit for purpose, it is just an organisation interested in petty politics that apes national divisions all too well The rot accelerated with the barmy, egotistical decision to build the Civic Centre (The Kremlin) in St Peter's Square ,destroying the perfectly placed open space focal point and in the process the fantastic old retail market buildings,then moving the markets to the Abyss it's at now, all for one man's ego (you know who you are), willingly supported by his empire building cronies; Other barmy decisions, the ring-road (far too close in),the failure to get the rail station re-built in the boom public sector spending years, failing to get a new shopping centre plan in place before the funding dried up, (however London has managed to get planned, financed and built two giant centres, twice the size of Merry Hill, SINCE the New Labour created, financial crash in 2008!); I could go on on about million pound fountains that don't work, £10m paving schemes replaced every 5 years as the break up as the wrong finish is used.................


Should have left the Market where it used to be. Civic Centre site, in front of St Peters church and built the Civic Centre where the market now is. A market needs to be in the centre of town, whereas the Civic Centre could be on the outskirts. The Civic Centre is a carbuncle of a building anyway, destroyed the look of the square in front of St Peters church.



It's not rocket salad?


Yep move it back near the church round by thye Civic Centre.

I mean after all if it was good enough to be painted by JMW Turner then it was good enough to use 200years ago where it was.

Sick to the back teeth of idiotic liebour incompetence. Can't even plan action without it costing a fortune instead of using COMMON SENSE!!!

Move the market next to St Peters church and it might just flourish but then again Liebour don't believe in using common sense!!!


If there's one building safe in Wolverhampton, it's the Civic Centre 'Carbuncle' (Kremlin); It cost about £12m in the late 70's to build, the mortgage was over 40 years, so in total about £48m in repayments (£1.2m/year), with £12m+ still to pay; But ha, that does not include the remedial works that had to be enabled, 10 years after opening, another £5m+, again borrowed money;Add in around £1m annual maintenance costs, PLUS the recently signed Private Finance Initiative Contract for a £15m+ refurbishment,(final total over 60 years up-to £60m) and you see the non-plebeians of the Council will never be uprooted from their high-end offices,creches,restaurants,young 'dolly-birds' and more importantly, free parking! That's local council spending priorities for you, whoever's in power;

Mary Mae

I agree with Danimal FREE PARKING at least 1 hour Bilston Market has FREE PARKING & is part of Wolverhampton so why do they not impliment the same our WOLVERHAMPTON MARKET. When ever they have had the FREE PARKING the market has been busy can the idiots not see this.

FREE PARKING juust bring it back. Although all our comments will be falling on deaf ears as it always does all there are interested in is the money & filling their pockets with the profits.

Lets hope someone from the City Council will even bother to read any of our comments & final take some action & sort out FREE PARKING

michael ward

Yes bring back free parking. I have lived in wolverhampton all my life but no longer use the town for my shopping, i go to bilston market because its free to park. I also think that Wolverhampton should be stripped of its city status as its been a right dump for a number of years now and im ashamed to say i live here. Maybe wolverhampton council might start to give a dam if we were down graded back to Wolverhampton Town.