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Wolves planning to build hotel in multi-million pound development

By Tim Spiers | Wolverhampton | Wolves | Published:

Wolves are involved in plans to build a huge hotel as part of a multi-million pound redevelopment around Molineux.

The land, highlighted in red, was once home to Carillion’s Peal House headquarters, pictured here in 2010. It is now used as a car park

The Express & Star understands top-level talks have taken place between the club and council chiefs over the plans.

It would transform the area to the south of the stadium and also create a new walkway between Molineux and the city centre.

Discussions are ongoing with a major chain over building a hotel off Whitmore Hill, which currently houses a club car park.

The car park sits alongside the ring road and was once home to the Peal House office block housing Carillion.

The land was bought eight years ago by former chairman Steve Morgan, who demolished the block and turned it into a car park.

He always said the car park would be a temporary move ahead of development plans.

A Google Earth shot showing the current car park site

Now Wolves are exploring options for the site, which would give the city a much-needed new hotel as well as shops and restaurants.

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It is understood that the prospect of bridging over Ring Road St Peters has also been discussed, in a move that would provide a seamless link between the stadium and the city centre.

Wolves are piecing together a masterplan to redevelop Molineux and the surrounding area, having elected to stay at their home of 130 years rather than move to a new all-purpose venue elsewhere in the city.

They hope to next year start expanding Molineux into a 46,000-seater venue – up from the 31,000 the stadium can currently hold.

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How the car park looks now, with Molineux in the background

The club aims to keep pace with demand to watch a team that has enjoyed a rapid rise to the top half of the Premier League.

The Steve Bull and Jack Hayward stands are earmarked to be expanded and improved. Key to the long-term success of the scheme will be attracting tourism and trade seven days a week, rather than just on matchdays.

Bosses want to build an iconic national venue, but with little room to expand around the stadium they need council and university chiefs to be on board with their ambitious proposals.

Council bosses have been desperate to attract a new hotel to Wolverhampton to tackle a shortage of overnight beds.

The authority had hoped to include one as part of the upcoming £50m Westside development, but that scheme was put on the back burner after bosses failed to attract a firm.

A new hotel at Molineux would provide vital accommodation both for football fans and for people attending city centre events.

Football clubs accommodating their fans

Wolves will be hoping to emulate the success of other clubs if their plans for a new hotel in the shadow of Molineux come to fruition.

Several clubs have brought in hotel developments near to their grounds in recent years, with the guaranteed promise of an influx of customers every weekend during the season seen as a major benefit.

The hotels provide accommodation for home and visiting fans but also enable clubs to increase their revenue through conference facilities and functions.

Molineux already has an extensive range of conference rooms and facilities, but the addition of a hotel linked to the stadium would enable those services to expand.

Hotel Football sits directly opposite Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground

Hotel Football near Manchester United’s Old Trafford is one of the UK’s highest profile developments linked to a club.

The £24 million 133-room hotel is owned by former players Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Gary Neville.

It opened in 2015 and has flourished, with features including conference facilities and the Old Trafford Supporters Club positioned in its basement.

The Manchester hotel also boasts a football pitch on its roof.

Sunderland have the 141-room Hilton Garden Inn next to the Stadium of Light, which opened in 2016.

And Chelsea have accommodated four-star Millennium and Copthorne hotels at their Stamford Bridge ground.

And a £500m development around Reading FC’s football ground has brought in a 246-bed hotel and an ice rink.

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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