Entertainment space worth £6m set to come to Wolverhampton city centre

Council bosses are this week due to give the go-ahead to plans to acquire the freehold interest of a site that will pave the way for a £6 million entertainment quarter in Wolverhampton.

The Neville Garratt Centre in Bell Street, Wolverhampton. Photo: Google Street View.
The Neville Garratt Centre in Bell Street, Wolverhampton. Photo: Google Street View.

It centres around the Neville Garratt Centre in Bell Street, Wolverhampton, with a view to relocating the existing independent living services and bulldozing the premises.

Once approved, the move will pave the way for the council’s Bell Street Box Space project – a designated leisure and hospitality area featuring regular street entertainment, food vendors, family attractions and space for entrepreneurial start-up companies to move into.

In a report to the council’s cabinet resources panel this week, deputy director of assets Julia Nock said: “The scheme will stimulate the high street community and help create a more vibrant leisure/evening economy.

“It will also create more opportunities for young people by delivering accessible new job opportunities in the leisure, hospitality, retail and cultural sectors.”

Derelict shops at 1-7a Cleveland Street are already being bulldozed under the scheme, which the council hopes will attract “thousands of visitors” once it is up and running next year.

The local authority hopes to complete the purchase of the Neville Garratt Centre by March 31 or shortly afterwards.

“The centre is currently occupied by adult services who have, to date, occupied the premises at ‘nil rent’, said Ms Nock. “The NHS property services team have now indicated that the council’s continued occupation of their building will need to be formalised through them entering into a lease.

“Negotiations over any lease have been put on hold pending the decision on whether the NHS will sell and the council will acquire the freehold. The NHS have now agreed terms for the freehold sale to the council.

“Much of the existing building is used as offices. The team based there will need to be relocated to make way for the scheme, whilst the equipment ‘showroom’ component use of the premises is under review and options are being explored with city assets,” she added.

The council’s cabinet resources panel is expected to approve the proposals next Wednesday.

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