Council launches task force to revitalise vacant city centre properties

The Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council has launched a task force to revitalise empty private properties in the city centre.

With over £2.6bn investment in progress or planned, the task force will collaborate with property owners to bring vacant buildings back into use, enhancing the urban environment.

The council aims to extend this effort to district centres like Bilston, Wednesfield, and Tettenhall, building upon existing regeneration initiatives.

A new events strategy and the reopening of The Halls Wolverhampton aim to boost foot traffic, while plans for thousands of new homes will further support city centre businesses.

Additionally, grant programs are available to assist businesses in innovation and sustainability efforts, while also improving connectivity through sustainable transport networks and advancements in digital infrastructure.

Council Leader, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “We understand the difficulties that city centres and businesses face in these challenging economic times. This council will continue to do everything in its power to drive footfall and ensure we have thriving city and district centres. Therefore, my administration is launching this new taskforce to tackle dishevelled, vacant commercial properties, left by landlords to blight our high streets.

“The benefits of reusing empty buildings and developing vacant sites are considerable, including the provision of new jobs and homes. It helps attract investment to an area, lifts its character and appearance, reduces anti-social behaviour and can help boost the wellbeing of residents, workers and visitors. The Vacant Properties Taskforce will have a mandate to monitor these buildings, ensure they are well maintained as a minimum, and look to bring some important and iconic properties back into use.”

Cherry Shine, Wolverhampton Business Improvement District (BID) managing director, said: “We welcome the new proactive approach the council is taking to encourage owners of vacant premises to properly maintain them and actively bring properties back into use.

“We have seen lots of investment in our city centre, it’s only fair that those not taking full responsibility for properties in their ownership are identified and supported in bringing their premises into a good state of repair and ultimately back into use, we look forward to seeing the results.”

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