Express & Star

Work to transform historic Beatties store into homes to begin next year

Work to transform Wolverhampton's Beatties department store into homes is expected to begin early next year.

Last updated
The landmark Beatties store could be turned into apartments

Council bosses approved plans to convert the historic city centre store into more than 300 apartments earlier this year following its sale and closure which marked the end of nearly 150 years of history in the city.

The first phase of the redevelopment will see around 150 new homes created around the multi-storey car park and modern annex areas of the building.

The ground floor facing Victoria Street and Darlington Street will be retained for retail space in a nod to its former Beatties heyday.

SSYS Beatties Ltd bought the famous Victorian building for a cut-price £3 million last year ahead of House of Fraser's move to the nearby Mander Centre.

Pragnesh Modhwadia, of SSYS Beatties Ltd, said the company recognised the building's history was "committed to a sensible development".

A CGI mock-up of new levels to the building viewed from Skinner Street. Photo: SSYS Beatties Limited

He said: “We are aware of the importance of this historic building within Wolverhampton’s city centre and of the strong local affinity for the building.

“We are committed to bringing forward a sensitive redevelopment of the site that will help revitalise the city centre.

“We are also mindful of the need to upkeep the building in the short term, prior to main works commencing.

"We have been working closely with city partners to plan a programme of refurbishment works, including hoardings at the windows, and general repairs and maintenance. These works will commence shortly.”

Wolverhampton Council deputy leader Stephen Simkins, added: “We need to ensure that a building of this importance is brought back into use.

“We are working hard to reimagine the city centre as the high street landscape changes up and down the country and projects like this are vital to the city’s 'relight' priorities as we emerge from the pandemic.

“Attracting more people into the centre and encouraging more footfall by bringing city living to this iconic building should be strongly encouraged and we have been working closely with the owners to ensure they have the support needed to bring this scheme forward.”

The famous Beatties name has been synonymous with Wolverhampton since the shop was launched by James Beattie in 1877. It was taken over by House of Fraser in 2005 but the Beatties name remained on the building and many shoppers continued to refer to it under its historic name.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.