Express & Star

Wolverhampton Business Week: Eight reasons to be cheerful in the city

The skyline of Wolverhampton is changing - and these developments showcase a city preparing for a major transformation.

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The Express & Star's business editor Simon Penfold takes a look at Wolverhampton's eight reasons to be cheerful.

1. New Debenhams department store

The Debenhams store is taking shape in the new look Mander Centre

Next month will see the opening of Wolverhampton's 93,000 sq ft new Debenhams department store, bringing new jobs to the city and underlining the major revamp of the Mander shopping centre.

Hopes are high that the widespread redevelopment across the centre will bring fresh retail names to the city.

2. Science, Technology and Prototying centre

The £10m Science, Technology and Prototyping Centre on the University of Wolverhampton Science Park

At £10 million, the new Science, Technology and Prototyping centre on the University of Wolverhampton Science Park aims to provide unrivalled local facilities to encourage new hi-tech and science-based businesses in the city and across the wider Black Country.

3. The West Midlands Construction UTC

The West Midlands Construction UTC

The West Midlands Construction UTC, which opened this month, is the first part of a major education and training scheme that is transforming the derelict former Springfield Brewery site in the city centre.

The University of Wolverhampton will also base its skills training hub at the site.

4. The i9 office block

The i9 development

Plans have been drawn up for the i9, a new office building in the city centre that could become a home for a major company.

It builds on the success of i10, the £10m office block near the railway station that proved there was demand from businesses for top office space in Wolverhampton.

It will offer proximity to Birmingham's business hub without its high city centre property prices.

5. Westside

An artist impression of how Westside will look

Work is due to start in the next 12 months on Westside, in the city centre, where developer Urban & Civic will be building restaurants, a hotel and a new cinema in a scheme aimed at boosting Wolverhampton as a leisure destination.

The company has just put the £55m scheme out for formal planning permission and the first phase work is due to be completed by 2020.

6. Wolverhampton Railway Station

The design for the Wolverhampton Railway Station

A new railway station is on the way, to be built as part of the £125 million transport Interchange project. It will link with the new bus station and Midland Metro tram service, currently under construction.

The project will replace the tired buildings with a new redevelopment intended to provide a gateway site for the city centre, and it forms the heart of a major regeneration scheme around both the railway station and the nearby canals.

7. Wolverhampton Market

Wolverhampton Market

After decades banished to the outskirts of the city centre, Wolverhampton Market is to be brought back into the heart of things with a new site.

It will sit on the edge of the new Learning Quarter, just over the road from the Wulfrun shopping centre.

New stalls are just part of a drive to create a new, modern and attractive market that will bring in shoppers from far and wide.

8. Royal Wolverhampton Hospital

How the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital development could look

After years of decay and dilapidation, the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital building will become the centrepiece of a new housing development being built by the governments Homes and Communities Agency.

After Tesco pulled out of its £60m supermarket scheme the site was set to remain vacant, but instead it will now provides homes for scores of families on the edge fo the city centre.