Wolverhampton market to get new city centre home
City of Wolverhampton market – subject to council Cabinet approval on Wednesday 18 January – is to get a new long term home as plans for the £55 million Westside regeneration scheme are finalised.
Its current Market Square location is to be absorbed into the new leisure led development by preferred developer Urban & Civic.
This will deliver a multi screen cinema, restaurants, bars, hotel, multi storey car park, apartments, and public realm, to the heart of the city centre in 2 phases, over 5 years.
A temporary market has been in place since April last year when the indoor traders joined the outdoor traders in Market Square to enable the demolition of Heantun House and the old indoor market. The market will now be relocated to Southside and will front Cleveland Street, providing increased footfall from the Wulfrun Centre and transport Interchange, as well as situating it in a student catchment area.
The former Netto store and adjoining buildings were cleared from the site last year, paving the way for the move, which will see 48 tented stalls and 16 purpose built cabins transferred from Market Square.
It is anticipated the move will be completed in winter 2017 to 2018 – but not during the Christmas trade period.
Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: “The council is proud to be the beneficiary of a legally binding Royal Charter, which commits us to holding a weekly market in the city centre.
“Relocating the market to Southside will not only pave the way for a first class leisure development on Westside, it will also allow the market to thrive in a new, prominent city centre location.
“The feedback we have had from initial discussions with the market traders has been positive.
“The successful merging of the indoor and outdoor markets last year has enhanced the customer experience.
“This will now help with the transition to Southside, where the work will be completed in phases, and an ongoing programme put in place to develop the new market.
“It will prove an asset to the city centre.”
Market traders’ representative, Dud Malik, added: “The new site proposal is in a much better central location for the market traders within the city centre.
“It is nearer the transport links; the metro and bus station, car parks; and the newly redeveloped Mander Centre.
“The traders are all looking forward to a fresh start, and benefiting from additional footfall from new customers, as well as retaining existing ones at the city’s new market.”
The new Southside site will provide the opportunity to expand the market and enable it to thrive through further investment.
It will offer improved facilities, including permanent toilets, dedicated trader parking, new stalls, and increased dry and refrigerated facilities.
The intention is also to divert the central walkway and promote foot traffic through the market to maximise passing trade.
The city centre market is one of three markets in Wolverhampton, with Bilston and Wednesfield markets also popular places to shop.