Wolverhampton's old steam mill building is snapped up
The old steam mill building on the outskirts of Wolverhampton city centre has been bought - paving the way for the area's long-awaited regeneration.
Neptune, the company behind the city centre's £96 million Interchange project, has snapped up the site in Corn Hill, Horseley Fields.
The former steam mill was today described as a 'carbuncle' on the face of Wolverhampton and it is hoped its demolition will swiftly follow, meaning the road around it can finally reopen for the first time since an arson attack at the building in 2008. The pavement is also currently closed to pedestrians due to safety fears over the mill's structure.
Wolverhampton council said today: "Neptune has purchased the former steam mill at Corn Hill on behalf of the Wolverhampton Interchange Partnership, which will deliver the project.
"The Grade II-listed building is in a poor state of repair following a fire a few years ago and, due to safety concerns, the council moved swiftly to enforce an exclusion zone around the building.
"Independent reports to ascertain the structural integrity of the building are close to being completed, with early indications it cannot be safely repaired.
"There are significant public safety concerns and consideration is being given as to whether it is necessary to demolish the building."
Councillor Phil Bateman called for the building to be demolished as soon as possible.
He said: "We need the highway back because of the economic development opportunities that road holds for people.
"We need the building to be demolished or made safe because it is an impediment on the highway network, but more than that it is an impediment on the growth of business around the railway station.
"The railway station itself is an economic driver for people who are coming into the city and the steam mill acts like a carbuncle.
"It doesn't look good and is creating all these physical difficulties and to fetch it down will create an opportunity for all sorts of things."
The revamp of the steam mill will tie on with the Interchange scheme, which has already seen the new bus station, improvements to the railway station, the creation of the Victoria Square and the refurbishment of the Queens Building.
At the moment, work is happening on the £8.1m Interchange 10 office and shopping development being built close to the city's bus and railway stations.