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Plans to transform Wolverhampton city centre take step forward

By Thomas Parkes | Wolverhampton | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Design work for start of the pedestrianisation of the centre of Wolverhampton have been completed, council chiefs have said.

An artist's impression of Victoria Square. Photo: Wolverhampton Council

Bosses at Wolverhampton Council pushed forward with the transformation plans as they bid for up to £25 million from the Government.

The move, which aims to "reinvigorate" the city centre, will allow work to start as soon as possible if funding is secured.

It comes after the authority bid for up to £49 million from the Towns Fund, with the second cash pot being the Future High Streets Fund.

Councillor Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment, said: "We are rethinking and reimagining our city centre and have shovel-ready schemes that will make it a much more enjoyable place for residents, visitors and their families.

"Covid-19 has hit our city hard, exacerbating social and economic challenges. It has also highlighted that urgent and bold action, along with funding, is needed. Through the Future High Street Fund, there’s a real opportunity for local and central Government to work together on levelling up our city."

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Phase one of the project will cover Victoria Street, Skinner Street, Salop Street and School Street – and will see roads pedestrianised and the creation of a new public square.

The second phase covers Queen Square, Lichfield Street, Cheapside, Exchange Street and Darlington Street – and will see the road will be paved through Queen Square and Lichfield Street.

The third phase will see the pedestrianisation of North Street and adjoining streets around the Civic Halls and is being brought forward.

All three phases of the project – formerly known as the Westside Link – aims to create a high-quality environment for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as creating public spaces capable of hosting large scale events and activities.

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Councillor Steve Evans added: "We have developed – with partners – bold and ambitious plans to transform and better connect our wider city centre area, also supporting the development of better jobs, better entertainment, better city centre homes, better public spaces and better city centre events.

"The funding bid is integral to acting as a catalyst to attract further investment and development to realise this vision."

Other sources of funding are being examined in case the Future High Street Fund is not approved – or not approved in its entirety.

The council is expected to hear back from the Government in September.

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Senior Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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