Wetherspoon's scraps Wolverhampton museum plan - but hotel project is made bigger

Wetherspoon’s has ditched its plans for a museum in the Black Country, but more than doubled its investment in a hotel to £15 million.

The Moon Under Water pub in Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton
The Moon Under Water pub in Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton

Last year the giant pub chain had £7m plans approved to renovate Wolverhampton’s The Moon Under Water, Lichfield Street, create a national heritage centre showcasing the company history and open a hotel above the pub.

However, the chain has insisted its aim to create a new hotel is still on, and has revised its plans to increase its size and grandeur, build a brand new roof on the entire building at the expense of the heritage centre. Bosses have promised the development will now create 100 jobs, instead of the original 50 announced last year.

Wetherspoon’s spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “Although the museum will be different to what was originally envisaged, The Moon Under Water will still be home to all Wetherspoon artefacts highlighting the company’s history. The fact the company is investing £15m on the project highlights our commitment to customers and Wolverhampton.”

The £15 million investment will act as a “catalyst for investment” in the city centre. The pub chain has bought the property next to the pub and will add an extra floor and roof to the Lichfield Street property.

Covering 8000 square feet on the ground floor and 3000 sq ft over two levels at the rear the Moon Under The Water it will become one of the biggest Wetherspoon’s in the country.

Artist’s impression of the pub and hotel from January last year

Originally the renovated pub and hotel was meant open this year but Covid-19 delayed the project which allowed architects to refine the application to include more family suites to the 87-room hotel.

A Wetherspoon spokesman said: “We believe customers will very much welcome the redevelopment of the pub and the addition of a hotel. Hopefully the investment will act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in the area.”

When plans were unveiled last year the original investment was £7 million but the changes to the plans has increased the total to £15m.

Though plans for a museum about the history of the pub chain, established by Tim Martin in 1979, have been shelved artefacts will be displayed around the pub and the basement could be turned into a heritage centre at a later date.

There will be 100 additional jobs created when the new-look pub and hotel opens but it might have to close for ‘a short time’ during renovation. Wetherspoon’s will announce the dates for construction and completion in the new year. The building used to be the old Co-op . The five-storey site takes up half of one side of Lichfield Street.

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