Courts purchase enhances Westside scheme says Wolverhampton Council

WOLVERHAMPTON’S bid to attract investors to its multi-million pound Westside development has been given a further boost.
The city council has confirmed it is to purchase of the former Magistrates’ Court on Darlington Street from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) following negotiations; as the previously proposed Magistrates Court development will not be progressing on this site.
The site has been added to the council’s existing landholdings across the regeneration area with a view to comprehensively developing the area for leisure-led mixed use.
Cllr John Reynolds, cabinet member for City Economy, said: “The development of Westside will play an important part in the wider regeneration of the city and we want to make sure we can make it as attractive as possible to potential developers.
“The purchase of the former Magistrates Court makes strategic sense and will help the council move the project forward.
“Westside is the largest mixed leisure, commercial and residential development opportunity in Wolverhampton city centre and we have ambitious plans to transform the area.”
The terms of the purchase have not been disclosed but the council said maintenance costs for the site would be met by continued interim use of the site for car parking.
AS the council revealed at the MIPIM UK property exhibition last week, work is already well under way on the site, with the first stage of regeneration, The Way – Wolverhampton’s new £5.5m Youth Zone – set to open in January.
The work will also see Heantun House on Salop Street demolished as well as the Market Hall, with traders from the indoor market moving across Market Square to sit alongside the outdoor market.
Westside is a prominent gateway to the city centre and the council is hoping the regeneration will promote stronger linkages between the new Sainsbury’s store to the west of the ring road and the core retail centre.

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