Express & Star

Wetherspoon £15m hotel and heritage centre plans for Wolverhampton pub gets thumbs up

Revised proposals by JD Wetherspoons to transform a Wolverhampton pub with the creation of a hotel creating around 70 new jobs have won the green light.

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Artist impressiion of how the Moon Under Water developmenrt will look

The pub giant was initially was granted planning permission by Wolverhampton Council in 2020 to give The Moon Under Water, in Lichfield Street, a facelift by adding an extra floor to the building at a cost of £15 million.

Four months ago the popular chain submitted a revised application including with basement hotel accommodation and an 'heritage centre' at the site opposite the Grand Theatre, as part of Wolverhampton Council’s city centre transformation works.

Planners have now given the thumbs up to the reboot scheme that includes plans to convert the first, second and third floors into a 72-bedroom hotel without the need for an additional level.

Artist impressiion of how the Moon Under Water developmenrt will look

The new proposal will also see external and internal alterations including the creation of a refurbished and extended public house on the ground floor, an external first floor rear garden terrace and a new shop front.

Spokesman for the chain Eddie Gershon said: “Wetherspoon aims to develop a hotel and heritage centre on the site as well as carry out work to the pub itself.

“The company aims to invest £15m to create a large extension to the existing pub, build a 72-bedroom hotel, heritage centre and create a new beer garden. Approximately 70 new jobs will be created.

“The Moon Under Water has proven very popular over the years and the project highlights our commitment to making the pub even better and to Wolverhampton itself.”

Artist impressiion of how inside the Moon Under Water developmenrt will look

The move will see 40,000 sq ft floor space above the pub that has been empty for more than 33 years brought back into use at the art deco building which was home to a Co-op store.

Wolverhampton Council leader Stephen Simkins said: “We are delighted to approve this scheme which will enable Wetherspoon to make significant improvements to this venue at the heart of the city centre, establish a new hotel for visitors and provide jobs for local people.

“This is an exciting proposition and demonstrates the growing confidence in our city centre from the private sector.

“The council’s city centre transformation works are creating better public spaces that will attract more visitors and enable businesses to thrive and grow through a blended approach of retail supported by events and activities in quality public spaces and city centre living.

“The works on Victoria Street and North Street are demonstrating this, especially since the reopening of The Halls Wolverhampton - and we welcome this redevelopment from one of the biggest chains in the hospitality sector.”

The Moon Under Water

The company which has closed a number of branches first proposed to open a museum and hotel above the Moon Under the Water three years ago originally planning to spend £7m and create 50 jobs.

However, in October 2020 the company announced costs had doubled to take account of roof rebuilding work and added that the museum plan would be downgraded to a heritage room detailing the history of the pub chain.

Former Wetherspoon branch The Malthouse, in New Road in Willenhall closed in March this year followed by The Billiard Hall in St Michael's Street in West Bromwich in May.