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A city transformed: Vision for Wolverhampton revealed in public exhibitions

By Andrew Turton | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

New public squares, transformed city centre streets and tree-lined boulevards - the vision for Wolverhampton revealed

Artist’s impression of Lichfield Street

These designs reveal the latest vision for Wolverhampton city centre to boost plans for the creation of new homes and businesses.

Artist's impressions showcase public spaces and new pedestrianised areas designed to allow the city to host a varied calender of events.

Two routes will be closed to traffic to make way for the public areas. But officials say the overall amount of parking will not be affected.

Bus services and stops would be moved along with the Victoria Street taxi rank being relocated.

Councillors say Wolverhampton must move away from relying on shops dominating the city centre.

Artist’s impression of Queen Square

This is due to changes in shopping habits and the increasing popularity of online retailers.

Instead they want to revamp a series of city centre routes, improve access and make them more attractive.

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They hope this will lead to new homes being created and a generation of new businesses.

Wolverhampton Council's Westside Link proposal will limit the amount of cars and other vehicles in the city centre including new pedestrianised areas.

They want to improve access from the city bus station and railway station through the city centre to the £55 million leisure-led Westside development.

This will include a multi-screen cinema.

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Artist's impression of the Westside development

Council cabinet member, Councillor John Reynolds, said: "We are rethinking and reimagining our city centre.

"These plans will transform it and make it a much more enjoyable place for residents and visitors.

"I would urge as many people as possible to view the proposals and provide their feedback to help us shape the details of the scheme."

The works will be carried out in two phases.

The first phase will cover Victoria Street, Skinner Street, Salop Street and School Street, and is expected to run from May 2019 to December 2019.

It will include pedestrianising the road and creating of a new public square.

Artist’s impression of Victoria Square

The second phase covers Queen Square, Lichfield Street, Cheapside, Exchange Street and Darlington Street and is planned to run from January 2020 and July 2021.

Again the road will be paved through Queen Square and Lichfield Street with a new city square formed around the Prince Albert statue.

Officials want this to be the focal point for events. Mature trees will be planted to make it an attractive area within the city centre.

A press release from the city council said: "Across both phases car parking will not be reduced by the scheme and existing and new car parking will be well positioned for events and activities; disabled parking will be reaccommodated in existing city centre car parks and on street; bus routes will be redirected, and new bus stops provided; and the existing taxi rank in Victoria Street will be relocated onto School Street or Darlington Street.

Artist’s impression of School Street

"The proposal is expected to reduce vacancy rates in the city centre, create jobs and bring in more money to the city economy through a combination of improved retail/leisure activity, as well as produce high quality public realm imperative to city living expansion and hotel delivery."

The scheme will be supported by funding from a combination of Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, West Midlands Combined Authority, Defra-Air Quality, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport - Smart City, Events City and match funding.

An exhibition will be held at the Civic Centre weekdays from next Monday until October 26, between 9am and 4.30pm, and at the Mander Centre on October 13 between 10am and 3pm.

Phasing plan

The exhibition will showcase the proposals, provide the opportunity to speak to the project leads and give feedback.

You can also view the plans at INVEST - Wolverhampton Westside.

Comments can be made by completing the survey at Westside Link Survey, emailing westsidelink@wolverhampton.gov.uk writing to Ruth Taylor, City Development, Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton, WV1 1RP, or completing a comment card at the exhibition.

The closing date for comments is November 2.

Andrew Turton

By Andrew Turton
Digital Journalist

Digital journalist based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton. Interested in breaking news and social media. Get in touch on Twitter @aturton_star or andrew.turton@expressandstar.co.uk

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