Leaders in Wolverhampton accepted the Government’s Future High Streets Fund cash boost despite it being less than the £25 million originally bid for.
Wolverhampton Council successfully secured one of the largest funding awards in the country and – although the offer in principle is less than the original bid – chiefs are confident the authority can adjust its plans accordingly and deliver impactful schemes to help fulfil its ambitious city centre vision.
The funding will be used to pedestrianise part of the city centre and is hoped will help the city bounce back from the impact of Covid-19.
Work will focus on 38 acres covering Victoria Street, Bell Street, Cleveland Street, Fold Street and the public areas around the Civic Halls and Westside developments.
Chiefs say the area has suffered in recent years and the investment in the area will address it – as well as helping to boost the evening economy after the Covid-19 impact.
Leaders hope the work will unlock investment which will create hundreds of new jobs, the opportunity to deliver hundreds of new city centre homes, a hotel, event zone and green public space improvements.
Wolverhampton Council leader Ian Brookfield said: “This will be transformational for our city centre and will form a key part of Wolverhampton’s recovery plan following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Confidence to invest in the City of Wolverhampton remains high and we are working with a wide range of key partners and stakeholders to continue to stimulate and accelerate growth.
"The Future High Streets Fund money gives us a fantastic opportunity to build on this work and, most importantly deliver real, tangible benefits for businesses, residents and visitors to our city centre.”
The proposals will be revised due to the reduced funding and must be submitted by February 26 – before contractors are appointed to carry out the work.
The Future High Street Fund works will also compliment other transformational development schemes already underway or in the pipeline in the city, including the £150 million city centre Interchange, thousands of new city centre homes at Brewers Yard and Canalside, and the Westside development.