£7 million makeover planned for Wolverhampton Wetherspoons
The plan for a new 70-bedroom hotel comes after the Grand Theatre and Wolverhampton Council revealed major plans for Lichfield Street earlier this week.
A £7 million makeover of a popular Wolverhampton pub is being lined up - complete with a new 70-bedroom hotel above it.
The Wetherspoon Moon Under Water pub, which sits opposite The Grand Theatre on Lichfield Street, could be transformed with up to 50 jobs created.
The 40,000 sq ft space above the pub, with its Art Deco frontage, has been empty for more than 30 years.
It was previously home for the old Co-op store which opened in 1931.
There were plans for Central Youth Theatre to take over the space back in 2015 to create a new arts centre, but a delay in drawing up plans meant the group had to hand back a £384,000 grant it had received from the Arts Council.
The following year the YMCA put in plans worth £6m, to turn the space into an area for the YMCA Black Country Group, providing youth accommodation. But this also appears to have fallen through.
'Good for Wolverhampton'
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are looking at a project to build a 70-bedroom hotel above The Moon Under Water and also carry out a full pub refurbishment of the existing pub. We are still at the discussion stage and plans have yet to be submitted.
“The overall investment would be £7 million and if it went ahead would create approximately 50 new jobs.
“We believe this project would be good for the company and its customers and importantly also good for Wolverhampton.”
The news follows the Grand Theatre's announcement earlier this week that it is planning to expand into the former post office next door and build a permanent pop-up theatre.
Wolverhampton Council has also revealed further details of its plans to revamp the city centre, which include creating a large pedestrianised area around Lichfield Street and Queen Square.
Wolverhampton councillor Milkinder Jaspal said: “This is to be welcomed. We have been trying to develop that part of the city as a residential place and it is along those lines.
“We need quality development and I think this will make a difference.”
The vast five-storey building, where The Moon Under Water is based on the ground floor, takes up half of one side of Lichfield Street but only the pub is based there currently.
Its neighbour, the old tavern O’Connells closed about five years ago. Most of the 40,000sq ft premises is currently derelict.
Councillors have previously called it an ‘eyesore’ and said they would welcome fresh development.
The former Co-op department store on Lichfield Street was a jewel in the city’s crown for decades, selling clothing, footwear, drapery, electrical goods and furniture.
From the day it opened in 1931, customers travelled from across the Midlands to sample its wares, but in recent years it has become one of Wolverhampton’s forgotten buildings.
Behind its stark white Art Deco frontage lies a network of rooms that have been abandoned and left to wrack and ruin.