Express & Star

Hundreds soak up sun at market celebrating Wolverhampton city centre regeneration

Hundreds of people soaked up the sun and headed to a food, drink and artisan market to celebrate the regeneration of part of Wolverhampton city centre.

Alison Chamberlain (Pimms & Gins), an entertainer on stilts and Hannah Pipkin (Pimms & Gins)

The market, which was organised by LSD Promotions in conjunction with Wolverhampton Council, was held in Victoria Street on Saturday.

The area has undergone a £15.7 million revamp in a bid to boost footfall, with the work finishing earlier this year.

Visitors to the market, which had around 20 stalls, enjoyed food such as burgers, loaded fries and tacos.

There was also a stilt-walker, live band, caricature artist and DJ to keep people amused.

The market in Victoria Street, Wolverhampton

Lara Davis, event manager for LSD Promotions, said: "People have been enjoying burgers, loaded fries, tacos, baked goods and Pimm's, while there's also artisan jewellery and lots of other products.

"Hundreds of people have come down and we've got live entertainment too. There's a stilt-walker, a live band, there's been a big queue for the caricature artist and a DJ is on all day.

"Some of the shop owners have complimented how the renovation has given a fresh look to the city and the market has brought more footfall into Victoria Street. We are hoping it will be a regular event."

The revamp of Victoria Street came under criticism from traders with several being forced to close down.

The market in Victoria Street, Wolverhampton

It included the likes of Toni & Guy and Le Monde – which had been in the city for 21 years and 27 years respectively – and has caused concerns the area won’t recover from the major impact.

Chiefs at Wolverhampton Council insisted the works were much-needed in the west side of the city, saying the scheme will boost footfall.

Councillor Steve Evans, Wolverhampton Council cabinet member for city environment and climate change, previously said: "We want people to enjoy our city centre from the moment they arrive, and our public realm works will be transformational, forming a key part of Wolverhampton’s recovery plan following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have consulted extensively with businesses about these critical public realm works and they told us they want an attractive environment to help bring people back to the city centre.

"To deliver this transformation there will of course need to be a period of disruption for businesses, residents and visitors. But we will strive to keep this to a minimum and would urge people to remain patient as the long-term results will be hugely beneficial for all."