City of Wolverhampton Council has named its preferred Westside developer to deliver a £55 million leisure-led mixed use scheme in the heart of the city. Urban & Civic fought off competition from ten other leading UK developers and investors to land a six-month exclusivity period on the 6.4 acre site, which comprises three adjacent parcels of land in the freehold ownership of the council. They will now further develop their proposal to deliver a multi-screen cinema, restaurants, bars, hotel, multi-storey car park, apartments, and public realm, in two phases over five years. The announcement was made today (Tuesday) at a Houses of Parliament event showcasing the City of Wolverhampton to a room full of high-profile developers and investors.
Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “The quality of submissions from developers and investors for Westside was extremely high. "A list of 11 submissions was initially reduced to five before the final pair was selected – and Urban & Civic stood out as the clear winners. Throughout the process our decision was fully informed and we were professionally advised by property consultants Bruton Knowles and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).
“We were also impressed on a site visit to Feethams in Darlington - a similar scheme Urban & Civic have delivered successfully. They clearly possess an excellent track record in delivering comparable high-quality schemes in the UK and have the financial support in place. There is a general enthusiasm around the Westside opportunity, and optimism concerning the groundswell of regeneration activity across the city, where £3.7 billion of investment is on site or in the pipeline.
“The outstanding proposals put forward by Urban & Civic perfectly meet our expectations of a regenerated Wolverhampton." Construction on phase 1 of the project is expected to start in early 2018 and complete by early 2020. It encompasses land between Penn Road Island and Salop Street, including the current School Street and Peel Street car parks and the area around Market Square.
Phase 2 incorporates parts of land between Salop Street and Darlington Street, including the Fold Street car park. Works on this section of the development are likely to be completed in 2022. Urban & Civic Chief Executive, Nigel Hugill, added: “Full credit and thanks to City of Wolverhampton Council for recognising the importance of project stewardship. Too many projects fall at the hurdle of land assembly. Secondly, I can only endorse the real importance of Wolverhampton Westside. More than ever at the moment, economic revitalisation involves an enduring sense of partnership."
“Urban & Civic currently lead on some of the largest schemes in the UK but, on the basis that we do things properly, I know that none can rely on more support than that from the Black Country. We will do all that we can to reciprocate.”