Costa Coffee is to open a new branch at Wolverhampton’s £22.5 million bus station next month, it was announced today.
The firm will be moving into the Queens Building just a few weeks after WHSmith announced it was closing its store there.The new store will be the coffee company’s third in the city centre with branches already open in Queen Square and Victoria Street. Today the company said it was looking to open the new cafe next month, although the exact date is yet to be confirmed. The move will create between six and 10 jobs.
Costa has already begun recruiting through Jobcentre Plus.
Councillor Peter Bilson, deputy leader of Wolverhampton City Council, said at the time of WHSmith’s decision to close that the building would not be empty long.
He said today: “It’s very good for that end of the city.
“A coffee shop is a good use for that building and it means that we can focus on trying to bring in investment for other sites.”
LandmarkWHSmith closed after facing competition for sales of newspapers, magazines and confectionery from a Spar shop in Co-Op just across the road at the junction of Queen Street and Pipers Row as well as from a Sainsbury’s Local which opened in a new building erected as part of the bus station redevelopment.
The top floor of the new block, above Sainsbury’s, is set to become a Georgie Porgie’s buffet restaurant but the company has yet to move in.
The rest of the building is used as the offices of trade union Unite and as the travel information shop of bus company National Express.
Costa hit the headlines last month when more than 1,700 people applied for just eight jobs at the firm’s new store in Mapperley, Nottingham.
There were three full-time and five part-time roles, with 212 people going for each post – many having been previously employed by collapsed chains.
Recruitment for the posts in Wolverhampton is set to continue via the Jobcentre for the coming weeks.
The landmark Queens Building dates back to 1849 and was originally used as a ticket office for the railway station.
Well-heeled passengers would collect their tickets from the building and then transfer to a horse-drawn carriage for the rest of the journey to the platforms.
The two centre arches were for carriages to pass through and pedestrians used the narrower arches by the sides.
The building then became incorporated into the old Pipers Row bus station but became a stand alone site once more when the station was re-built in 2011.