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Delayed Wolverhampton Westside contracts 'to be signed next month'

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Politics | Published:

Council bosses are expected to sign off on the £55 million city centre Westside development next month.

How Westside will look

Leader Ian Brookfield said the authority had now cleared the "legal hurdles" and were ready to finalise contracts with developer Urban & Civic.

The city council has faced questions over the delays on Westside, which will include a multi-screen cinema, shops, restaurants and leisure attractions, but Councillor Brookfield said it was important time was taken to ensure the development was right.

He said the aim was to sign the contracts during January before announcing an agreement with a national cinema chain, which will act as the anchor tenant of the major development.

"It's going to be in January. We've now got over all the legal hurdles," Councillor Brookfield said.

"Quite rightly this has taken time as this has got to be taken into account. I wish sometimes they weren't there but on the other hand we can't gamble.

"We will be singing in January with Urban & Civic and then potentially a week or two after the anchor tenant will sign."

Once the contracts are completed Councillor Brookfield said he would be looking for work to begin as soon as possible.

He said: "As soon as that's done we want to see work starting. We don't want it to sit there and I'm sure the cinema operator won't want it sitting there."

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Mini golf, 10-pin bowling, a multi-storey car park, restaurants and shops will all feature as part of the Westside development to transform part of the city centre.

The cinema is seen as the focal point for the development, which spreads from the Penn Road Island to Salop Street, and includes a pedestrianised link route leading to a new public plaza in Victoria Street.

It had been hoped the cinema chain would be named during October but the announcement has been put off until the new year.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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