Concert venue plans for historic Wolverhampton building

A new concert venue with room for 1,500 people could transform an historic Wolverhampton building, it can be revealed today.

The building on the corner of Lichfield Street and Princess Street, Wolverhampton, which is to be converted into an entertainment venue.
The building on the corner of Lichfield Street and Princess Street, Wolverhampton, which is to be converted into an entertainment venue.

The Victorian-built Grand Post House building, next to the Grand Theatre in Lichfield Street, has been empty for years.

Under ambitious plans revealed today the huge structure - which spans three streets - could become a cultural hub in a key area of the city.

It is likely to be a multi million pound redevelopment and talks are under way with bosses from the University of Wolverhampton to make full use of the space.

A shot through the window of the building on the corner of Lichfield Street and Princess Street, Wolverhampton.
A shot through the window of the building on the corner of Lichfield Street and Princess Street, Wolverhampton.

A student's union and exhibition space would form part of the venue, which is also being lined up to house conferences and vintage trade fairs.

The historic building was once the main post office in the city until the 1960s, when a new one was built next door.

The majority of the building is Grade II listed and has been empty since 2007 when it was vacated by the University of Wolverhampton.

Leisure chiefs at the council have welcome the project with open arms.

Agent for the planning application Shaun Gill, from Dudley firm Design to Build, said talks were ongoing with the university to see how they too could utilise the building.

“It’s a multi-use building but it could certainly house small gigs,” he said.

“People want to see this historic building thrive again."

A planning application notice on the outside of the building.
A planning application notice on the outside of the building.

The bottom two floors would host events, with room for 1,500 people, while floors above would house offices.

A planning application has been submitted to Wolverhampton City Council.

Council leisure chief Councillor Elias Mattu said the project would further reinvigorate that part of the city.

The nearby Grand Theatre is getting an £800,000 refurbishment in the coming years, while the ongoing interchange project will see offices and restaurants built next to the £22.5m bus station.

And the city's railway station is also being redeveloped, with images released last month of how the long-awaited facelift will look.

Councillor Mattu said: “This is another part of the rejuvenation of Wolverhampton.

“It’s great for the city to see such an historic building getting a revamp and of course the extra space for concerts is very welcome.”

As well as Lichfield Street, the building spans Princess Street and Berry Street.

The building on the corner of Lichfield Street and Princess Street, Wolverhampton, which is to be converted into an entertainment venue.
The building on the corner of Lichfield Street and Princess Street, Wolverhampton, which is to be converted into an entertainment venue.

The old post office was built back in 1895. When another post office was built next door in the 1960s the building was sold and refurbished as offices and teaching rooms.

That post office closed last year when it was moved just a few years over the road to the Nisa convenience store.

The University of Wolverhampton said it was unable to comment on the plans at this time.

Comments for: "Concert venue plans for historic Wolverhampton building"

charlie17

I do not remember this building as the Post Office which, was next door to this building and had, in fact still has, an imposing frontage. I believe the old post office is now being used by the University. The fact that the new Post Office was built next to the old Post Office is correct but it is believed that the building the subject of this article was a hotel, The Criterion Hotel.

PJW Holland

Your comment only popped up after I had made similar comments.

gold and black blood

had it not used to be known as the valhalla (night club i think) and the Gondolier at some point as well

Eddie S

Wasn't the Gondolier where specsavers is now ( Wulfrun centre opposite jewelers)?

Famed for it's naff melonin bars & a tribute to all things 70's like the Star in graislwy lane Wednesfield or even the Fisherman in rookery st!

Saturday afternoon was a blast late 70's into 80's, as the flick hairstyled & Fred Perry attired Subway Army & their molls, made it 'theirs'!

Ah, the good old days!

David

This added to the proposed upgrades to three existing entertainment venues may be overkill. Can the city of Wolverhampton expect to see all four used to the extent that they would be commercially viable? I (and I suspect many more potential visitors) would suggest that funds could be better used to help to reduce the currently exorbitant parking fees in the city. I can park anywhere else in the Black Country at a fraction of the cost of parking in Wolverhampton. Not surprisingly, I very rarely go there.

charlie17

After I posted comments re the Criterion Hotel I had exactly the same thoughts. Can understand the need for the University to expand but in a City with 1 unprofitable venue and at least 1 under utilised venue is another required. The Council have an opportunity to off load the Civic and Wulfrun Halls now, lease them to the University and let them run the operation, they would probably make a good profit doing it.

SJ

Possibly, yes, if marketed correctly. Despite what the naysayers will have you believe, Wolverhampton is one of the most important key cities in the country, and has a large catchment area covering large parts of the Black Country and out into the Shropshire and Staffordshire countryside, out as far as Stafford, Telford and beyond.

Of course, the benefits depend entirely upon the costs, and who is to bear those costs. If it's not the City Council, then it won't affect the car parking costs in the city, which I agree are too high at present.

PJW Holland

Exactly so. Wolverhampton has been a regional capital for over a thousand years. It has always had a centre five times larger than any of its neighbours and large regional attractions. Problem is Government intervened and stole a great deal of Wton's assets.

wolverhampton70

Can someone confirm which building is the planning application for. The article seems to have been written by someone who does not have knowledge of the area by jumping from one building to another and statements which do not tie up to the buildings. As far as I know the Old Post Office and the Criterion are two separate buildings. A good thing if permission was granted is to say the 1960s Post Office has to be blown up.

Wulfrunwoman

I would also love to see that awful 1960s Post Office gone , put a garden there, so people at the theatre could sit out during the intermission if we ever have another summer like this one !

Wulfrunwoman

This building has never been the Post Office. The original Victorian Post Office is the red brick building next door, the they built the concrete box next to the theatre, which closed recently and the Post Office is now across the street. How can a local paper make such a mistake ? A concert venue sounds great, but as we have the Civic and Wulfrunians Halls and a theatre within walking distance of this building is it really worthwhile ?

daniel.badger.16

This is indeed the post office building (and the Valhalla nightclub). Both are treated as one building in the planning application (and have been one site for a while). They're both empty and not being used by the University at all at the moment. It's a good development. The planning app covers both buildings; it will also have an entrance on Berry Street, improving a little used street. As for the money being used for parking charges: it is not the University's job to do this, nor any other building owners. That rests on the council. Personally I would like to see a large park and ride facility built at the Royal with free trams into the city centre and a re-extended Cleveland Street joining it for pedestrians.

dave.clare.77

What a muddled and confused article. I now know less about the future of these buildings than I did before I read the piece. Please can you let us know what building is meant. The notice refers to the Grand Post House which i have never known as the title of the former Post Office. Does this refer instead to the former hotel and University offices on the corner? The confusion seems to stem from the fact that the University has used both buildings in the past.

daniel.badger.16

The Grand Posthouse is the name used in planning and such for both the hotel and the former post office. The plans are available by searching the web for "wolverhampton planning applications". The article is completely correct.

PJW Holland

The planning application seems to suggest the Criterion is not part of the application and that the purpose is to house the Student Union.

Eddie S

Too us under 60, but over 40, it most definitely would be known as the Valhalla! Odd place indeed!

How many of the estimated 80+ pubs, bars, nightclubs inside the ring road circa late 70's-2000 are still open, or even there anymore?

The Blue Ball, that was a shame!

Far too few I guess?

The Sheraton in the 80's, that was a place to take your life into your own hands, especially if you beat the natives at pool!

Did see the Windies there when they had a great side!