'Time to relight Wolverhampton': Becoming an ‘events city’ is key to recovery, says leader

Wolverhampton’s future lies in becoming an ‘events city’ as part of its economic recovery from the devastating effects of the pandemic, the city's council has heard.

The Civic Hall is being revamped.
The Civic Hall is being revamped.

Councillor Ian Brookfield told members of last night’s cabinet meeting that playing host to national and international events would be a major factor in the revitalisation of the city.

Under the council’s ‘Relighting our City’ plan, which sets out a series of strategic moves to create new jobs, support local businesses and inject life back into the high street, Councillor Brookfield said Wolverhampton would really begin to bloom again in 2022.

“As a council we have had over two and-a-half thousand residents, businesses and volunteer groups from around the city who have contributed and given us their ideas,” he told members.

“We know we’ve got a strong offer and we want to engage people. Going forward to next year when more people are allowed to come out and meet together, people will start to really see the city bloom.

"We’ve got the British Art Show coming in January 2022 and we are one of the only cities in the country to have that. There’s also the Commonwealth Games from July to August and the road racing events we’ll be having in the city.

“The Civic Halls will be opened early next year, and there are more exciting announcements to come on that very soon.

“We’re going to become an events city. We want people to come in, we want to build hotels and we want ministries and government departments to relocate here,” he added.

Refreshed

“There are many ways forward that we’re taking on behalf of the city to make sure it’s refreshed and relit, and we can’t do that without jobs.

“We will move heaven and earth in this city to get jobs in because that will be the cornerstone of everything we do. We won’t put any barriers or red tape in front of developers, jobs or people coming in who want to invest in our city.

“We all know what a terrible year it has been and once again our condolences go out to the thousands of families who have lost loved ones.

“We’re seeing how we can relight our city, how we can look after our own and make sure nobody is being left behind. I’m very passionate about this,” said Councillor Brookfield.

“Wolverhampton is a fantastic place. We have our problems and our knockers – the people who try to knock us down – but we’ll still go out to the people and say we’re listening to you, we hear you and this is what we’re putting before you.”

The council’s recovery plan was developed after extensive engagement with around 2,500 people including residents, young people, the voluntary and community sector and businesses across the city.

Five main priorities have been set out in the plan:

  • Supporting people who need it most

  • Creating more opportunities for young people

  • Supporting vital local businesses

  • Generating more jobs and learning opportunities

  • Stimulating vibrant high streets and communities.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News