Express & Star

Top bands coming to Wolverhampton as major global venue operator to run Civic halls

One of the world's top venue operators is set to run Wolverhampton's Civic halls when they reopen next year.

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A CGI of how the new Civic halls will look

AEG Presents – which runs London's Apollo and the O2 arena – will aim to bring "bigger and better" acts to the city after signing a long-term deal to operate the iconic venue.

The Civic is set to reopen in early 2022 after a refurb project which has seen long delays and its cost quadruple to more than £40 million.

Council bosses said the deal was a "huge coup" for the city which will see new jobs created and raise Wolverhampton's international profile.

They say the completed Civic will attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city and boost the local economy by millions of pounds as it bids to recover from the pandemic.

Wolverhampton Council leader Ian Brookfield, said: "AEG Presents’ passion for the iconic halls and ambition for the future matches our own and this partnership will not only deliver an outstanding venue with top-class entertainment for generations to come – it will be a keystone of our wider plans to reimagine the city centre, to create local jobs and grow vital local businesses.

"Never has this been more needed than now, as we plot a path out of the pandemic."

AEG Presents own and operate more than 40 sites and recently landed the contract to run a music venue at Olympia London.

It also puts on the annual All Points East Festival and has promoted tours for Justin Bieber, Bon Jovi, Shawn Mendes, Rod Stewart and The Who.

AEG Presents will be supported by venue operator ASM Global. AEG boss Steve Homer said people could “look forward to some amazing events in the Civic halls".

Work on the halls will eventually see the height above the stage to the rear of the Civic increased to attract bigger touring bands.

Better seats are being fitted, along with extra bars and new balconies.

The revamp is part of wider plans for the city, including the delayed Westside development and a move to bring in a top hotel.