Step forward in bid to turn sprawling Wolverhampton city centre brownfield site into new neighbourhood
A preferred developer has been identified to lead on a vision to turn a sprawling brownfield site in Wolverhampton into a creative new neighbourhood.
A report, which will be considered by Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet next week, recommends Capital&Centric is appointed as part of a pre-development agreement for the former Sainsbury’s supermarket site, to bring the neighbourhood forward.
The first step will be to develop a masterplan for the five-acre St George’s site, with early ideas for a melting pot of homes, community spaces and green streets, with the Grade II listed church repurposed as a community centrepiece.
Shops, workspaces and café bars would complete the line-up, adding a vibrant new quarter to Wolverhampton’s city centre, with links to the £61 million City Learning Quarter set to open in 2025.
If appointed, the developers will work up a detailed vision as to how the site could become a destination district for the people of Wolverhampton, with the potential for over 400 homes.
The next stage would then be to consult the community prior to the submission of a planning application.
Established in Manchester, Capital&Centric has gone on to deliver on award-winning regeneration projects across the UK, from homes and workspaces, to hotels and leisure destinations.
It has earned an enviable reputation for their offbeat design, with many of their projects featuring a striking blend of restoration of historic buildings alongside contemporary new builds.
Having delivered standout neighbourhoods in Manchester city centre – including Kampus and Piccadilly East – it is now ploughing on with transformational mixed use communities in spots including Stockport, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Everything it does is geared toward delivering social impact through regeneration, whether creating communities of independent businesses, creating skilled new jobs or inspiring young people into careers in regeneration through the not-for-profit ‘Regeneration Brainery’ it established.
Wolverhampton Council leader, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “Ambitious plans and investment as part of a wider strategy are driving the regeneration of our city centre, The Halls Wolverhampton, our award-winning £150 million transport interchange and Grade-A office developments are testament to that.
“The St George’s opportunity sits at the heart of this, well connected to commercial and leisure hubs, which is a priority as we transform our city centre to generate jobs, homes and growth.
“If the recommendations are approved by cabinet it will enable the council to develop an outline business case that will establish this site as a new gateway into the city centre.
“St George’s can provide an inclusive, safe and sustainable new quarter that will generate new opportunities and jobs, bring underutilised assets back into community use and, importantly, deliver much needed new homes in Wolverhampton city centre, which will bring wider social and economic benefits.”
John Moffat, joint managing director at Capital&Centric, said: “St George’s is a worthy headliner among the line-up of major opportunities in Wolverhampton and fits perfectly with what we’re about … delivering eclectic neighbourhoods that mix the old and new.
"It has bags of potential and we’re already brimming with ideas of how we could deliver new city centre homes alongside community hangout spaces and loads of much-needed greenery.
"We can’t wait to write the next chapter for the stunning St George’s church, creating a new centrepiece around which the community will revolve.”
St George’s was one of a trio of development opportunities, featured in the Wolverhampton Investment Prospectus, launched by the council at MIPIM earlier this year.
The prospectus is aimed at bringing the private and public sector together to unlock growth in the city, delivering more homes, jobs and investment.