The £10.4 million redevelopment of Wolverhampton’s Civic Halls came a step closer today with planning permission being granted. Preparatory works have begun on the Grade II listed venues prior to City of Wolverhampton Council appointing a main contractor to carry out the core works. The refurbishment of the Civic and Wulfrun Halls will be funded by £6.2 million from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal and £4.2 million from the council.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “The approval of the planning application and preparatory works starting is a major step forward. “The City of Wolverhampton’s regeneration plans are going from strength to strength with £868 million pounds of investment either on site or planned in the city centre alone. “The refurbishment of the Civic Halls is part of that investment and will open up further opportunities for hosting conferences and putting on bigger and more diverse shows, as well as diversifying into new areas, such as business conferencing.

“There is huge potential for attracting new audiences from across the UK to live events and music, festivals, the arts, culture and night life. “The improved facilities will attract even more visitors to Wolverhampton city centre and the wider sub-region resulting in the creation of more jobs in the local economy.” Stewart Towe, Black Country LEP Chair added: “We are delighted to see the final pieces of the jigsaw dropping into place for this exciting project.

“It highlights further the effectiveness of the Black Country LEP’s Growth Deal funding in helping deliver schemes of economic and cultural importance to the region.” There will be a phased re-opening of the venues. However the venues will be open to accommodate the Grand Slam of Darts in November 2016.