Multi-million revamp of Wolverhampton Civic Halls delayed due to coronavirus
The multi-million revamp of Wolverhampton's Civic Halls has been met with further delays after work was suspended amid coronavirus.
Council chiefs made the call as the project entered a stage where it is "no longer possible" for workers to follow Government guidelines.
Bosses have said the move is likely to have an impact on the completion date for the venue and the overall cost of the project.
But they stressed the health and safety of workers from contractors Willmott Dixon Interiors is "paramount".
The £38.1 million revamp is already four times over budget and has been delayed by five years – originally set to open in November 2016.
Councillor Harman Banger, cabinet member for city economy, said: "This is an extremely difficult time for the whole country.
"The coronavirus outbreak has had a huge impact on everyone’s lives across all sectors – and this delay to the Civic Halls programme is simply beyond our control.
“Our priority is people’s health and safety above all else and we must follow the government guidelines on site safety.
“As soon as site works are able to recommence we will promptly swing back into action to complete the improvements that will enable Wolves Civic to attract significantly more popular and prestigious entertainment acts, while retaining the current characteristics that make it popular with performers, producers and audiences."
Discussions will continue between Wolverhampton Council and Willmott Dixon Interiors to progress design works – and to find ways to mitigate the impact.
Work involves essential structural, engineering and electrical works – with visitors set to benefit from a second balcony for the Civic Hall and a balcony in the Wulfrun Hall.
The height above the stage to the rear of the Civic Hall will be increased to attract bigger and better shows
And more comfortable seats, bigger and better bars, more space, expanded and revamped toilets – as well as lift access to balconies – will be offered when it is completed.
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