From grit to glamour: Wolverhampton's Westside set for transformation
It is hard to picture this expanse of gravel and dirt as a £55 million leisure district anchored by a 12-screen cinema.
But that is exactly what is planned for the land once occupied by the city's indoor market hall and Heantun House.
Work on Wolverhampton council's Westside development is due to start early next year, but until then part of the land will be transformed into a temporary car park.
It will provide spaces for more than 200 vehicles.
The Westside site will eventually include the multiplex cinema, restaurants, bars, a 100-plus multi-storey car park, 300 homes and 50,000 sq ft of leisure space.
Construction on phase one of the project is expected to be complete by early 2020.
It encompasses land between Penn Road Island and Salop Street, including the current School Street and Peel Street car parks and the area around Market Square.
Phase two incorporates parts of land between Salop Street and Darlington Street, including the Fold Street car park. Works on this section of the development are likely to be completed in 2022.
Earlier this month, the council released a striking artist's impression of the completed development.
Urban and Civic has been chosen as the developer for the scheme.
The investment is one of several projects planned for across the city over the coming years.
Plans for a huge office building, named i9, will greet visitors arriving in Wolverhampton by train when it is built next to the Chubb Buildings.
It is part of the council's wider vision for the 'interchange' area centred on the railway and bus stations.
That also includes the redevelopment of the railway station, the metro extension, and the redevelopment of the Grade II-listed Steam Mill building at Corn Hill.
Meanwhile, Wolverhampton market – currently located on the Westside site – will be shifted to Cleveland Street.
The move will be completed in winter 2017/18, but not during the Christmas trade period.
Councillor John Reynolds, cabinet member for city economy, said previously that things were progressing well for Westside.
He said: "There is a general enthusiasm around the Westside opportunity, and optimism concerning the groundswell of regeneration activity across the city, where £3.7 billion of investment is on site or in the pipeline.
"The outstanding proposals put forward by Urban and Civic perfectly meet our expectations of a regenerated Wolverhampton."
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