New shops planned for old Wolverhampton BHS building
The empty BHS store in Wolverhampton city centre is to be brought back to life two years after it was shut.
The owners of the Mander Centre, BE Wolverhampton BV, have swooped in to buy the five-storey site in Dudley Street after it went up for auction for £500,000.
Now plans have been approved by the city council to transform the site – which was home to BHS for around 40 years – into two separate shops.
Although it is not yet known which businesses will be moving in.
The city’s BHS branch was a popular spot for shoppers before the High Street giant collapsed into administration shedding 90 jobs at the city store.
The move is a timely boost for the city centre amid the continued uncertainty over the future of Beatties.
The future of the iconic store is hanging in the balance after House of Fraser was snapped up by Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley.
City councillor Milkinder Jaspal said: “This is positive news for the city. I hope they will be able to attract quality tenants, which is much-needed.”
A report to the council reads: “The scheme will allow the unit to be brought back into use after it remained vacant since 2016.
“The proposal is to spilt an existing retail unit into two units, one tenant trading at lower mall level with a dedicated entrance down from Dudley Street and the other unit at upper mall level with access at pavement level from Dudley Street.
“As part of this separation, a new shopfront will be installed on Dudley Street with separate entrances to each unit.
“The works will include the demolition of the existing glazed shopfront.”
A total of 90 staff lost their jobs when the city’s BHS store shut after the company went into administration in 2016.
They had notched up a combined total of 540 years’ of service in the store, with one employee working there for 44 years.
Staff were among 11,000 employees affected by the closure of 164 shops across the UK following the company’s collapse.