• Railway station car park extension moving on up

    A key milestone has been reached this week in the redevelopment of the railway station multi-storey car park as part of Wolverhampton’s £120 million Interchange project.

    The erection of the steel framework for the extension has started, with the project still on course to be completed by Christmas.

    Work started in February on extending and refurbishing the current multi-storey car park to increase its capacity from 450 to more than 800 long stay parking spaces.

    The redevelopment is being carried out by Ion Property Developments Limited and Balfour Beatty on behalf of the Wolverhampton Interchange Partnership.

    It will pave the way for the new state-of-the-art railway station to be built and the Metro line extension, which will include a new stop at the station.

    Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets, said: “Good progress is being made with the railway station car park.

    “We have now reached an exciting part in the works, where the scale and size of the new multi-storey extension will become visible to the public.

    “Ultimately, as well as encouraging more investment and boosting prosperity in the city, the Interchange will become the gateway to the city for people arriving off the national rail network, by bus or Metro.”

    Steve Parry, Managing Director of Ion Property Developments Limited, added: “It is always pleasing to achieve these key construction milestones in line with the planned timescale.

    “The construction of the extended car park and the new station forecourt is important as it will facilitate the construction of a new station building with much enhanced facilities for passengers and railway employees.”

    The redevelopment of the car park will include cycle and motorcycle parking, short stay and passenger drop off, as well as a taxi rank built adjacent to the existing multi-storey, and the creation of a brand new entrance off Mill Street.

    The entrance will be relocated to Mill Street to make way for the tram extension and allow Railway Drive to become more pedestrianised.

    The medium-term ambition is to build a new hotel on the land between Railway Drive and the car park which would effectively wrap-around the existing frontage, creating a completely new view and a modern-looking gateway to the new railway station.

    “It’s an exciting time as customers can now really start to see the new car park taking shape with the steel work going up,”  said Dave Whitehouse, Virgin Trains Interchange Project Manager Wolverhampton.

    “We will be working hard to keep customers updated as work progresses and, along with our colleagues at London Midland, play our part in giving the city a station to be proud of.”

  • Go-ahead given for Wolverhampton tram extension

    Plans to extend the Midland Metro in Wolverhampton were given the go-ahead today (Tuesday June 21), paving the way for the next stage in a wider £120 million redevelopment of the city centre.

    The extension was given formal approval by Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, and follows a Transport and Works Act Order public inquiry last summer.

    The go-ahead means preparatory work on the £18 million extension can start later this year with completion scheduled for 2019.

    The route will take trams along Pipers Row, stopping directly outside the bus station before continuing on to the railway station which will also be redeveloped as part of the Wolverhampton Interchange Project.

    The Metro scheme is being carried out by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the transport arm of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), in partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council and Ion Property Developments Limited.

    Not only will the extension improve passenger connections between bus, train and tram services but also support the ongoing redevelopment of land next to the railway station which is expected to see £120 million of investment and 1,400 new jobs.

    Cllr Roger Lawrence, leader of City of Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands lead on transport, said: “Today’s approval is excellent news because the extension can play a key role in unlocking further investment and jobs – not just in Wolverhampton but also other parts of the Black Country.

    “If we are to succeed in revitalising our city then we must have the right transport infrastructure in place to open up new areas for redevelopment and underpin our long term ambitions.”

    Cllr Lawrence said the extension would provide improved Metro links to the wider West Midlands including a route through to the proposed high speed rail station and the Broad Street area in Birmingham city centre.

    Steve Parry, managing director of Ion Property Developments Limited, said: “The announcement is great news for the Wolverhampton Interchange scheme as the Midland Metro extension is the element that will tie the commercial developments and the new bus and railway stations together.”

    Following a six-week legal challenge period the Transport and Works Act Order will come into force and allow work to start on advanced utility diversions.

    This will be followed by works to the Pipers Row car park that in turn will create the space needed to divert the underground pipes and cables buried along the route of the tram extension.

    The work is part of the wider Interchange project being funded by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, City of Wolverhampton Council and the WMCA.

  • Kaspa’s grand opening at city’s i10 development brings jobs

    Kaspa’s Desserts will hold its grand opening at Wolverhampton’s city centre showpiece i10 building on Friday, June 24, at noon.

    The dessert house chain has taken over two units to house its first Midlands branch.

    It will employ more than 25 local people at the multi-million pound office and retail development.

    The i10 building, next to the railway station and bus station, was completed in December and forms part of the city’s £120 million Interchange plans.

    Superdrug became the first tenant to start trading in February and Greene King opened its new Hungry Horse family-friendly pub restaurant – The Sunbeam – the following month.

    The retail units on the ground floor sit under three floors of top grade office space, two of which will be occupied by worldwide expert in water treatment, Ovivo, and award-winning home builder and regeneration specialist, Countryside.

    Kaspa’s Desserts offer the world’s favourite hot and cold desserts under one roof – boasting irresistible gelatos, waffles, crepes, milkshakes, smoothies and sundaes.

    Bal Dhanjal, Kaspa’s Manager, said: “Our i10 venue is looking the part and we are really excited about opening for business in Wolverhampton.

    “The council and partners have provided great support to us in helping recruit staff from the area and we are looking forward to establishing ourselves in the city centre.

    “The regeneration plans for Wolverhampton are very exciting and we are delighted to be a part of it.”

    City of Wolverhampton Council is close to agreeing a deal over another unit, while the final retail unit will be marketed later this year.

    Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, added: “The businesses that have moved into i10 are thriving.

    “Kaspa’s is another exciting addition to the development and brings something different to Wolverhampton.

    “i10 is now almost fully let and forms what is becoming an impressive gateway into the city centre.

    “As well as encouraging more investment, it is also delivering dozens of new jobs for local people.”

    Wider Interchange development has seen work start on the extension of the railway station car park. A major new railway station and the Metro extension will follow.

  • Plans submitted for new Wolverhampton railway station

    The building of a new multi-million pound Wolverhampton railway station came a step closer today.

    The Interchange partnership has submitted plans to demolish the existing station and replace it with a new one.

    Work is due to begin on the new railway station next year following the extension and refurbishment of the railway station multi-storey car park, which is expected to be completed by Christmas 2016.

    It forms part of a £120 million Interchange project that will also see a Metro line extension, including a new stop at the station.

    The new station will also benefit from an enhanced Birmingham New Street-style ticket office, larger passenger concourse, ample ticket barriers to ease flow onto and off platforms, much improved retail and café facilities, increased taxi rank provision and a more efficient passenger drop off/pick up arrangement.

    Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets, said: “This is an important step forward in the Interchange project, which is really gathering pace now.

    “The people of Wolverhampton can look forward to a railway station befitting of their city.

    “There is £3.7 billion of investment currently on site or in the pipeline across Wolverhampton.

    “As part of this regeneration it is crucial visitors to our city get the best first impression possible and their travel experience is enhanced – this new state-of-the-art station will deliver that.”

    Steve Parry, Managing Director of Ion Property Developments Limited, added: “These proposals for the main railway station building illustrate that the city will soon have a new high quality gateway.

    “Submitting the plans is a key milestone in this exciting project for Wolverhampton.”

    Dave Whitehouse, Virgin Trains Interchange Project Manager Wolverhampton, said: “The images that accompany the plans really bring the new-look station alive.

    “There’s a real sense of excitement as we work together to give the city a station to be proud of.”

  • Countryside make i10 regional headquarters

    Award-winning home builder and regeneration specialist Countryside has become the latest business to sign up as a tenant of i10.

    The UK company has agreed a deal to occupy the top floor of the multi-million pound office and retail development to make Wolverhampton a regional headquarters.

    i10 provides the only top grade office accommodation in the city and is a key component in Wolverhampton’s £120 million Interchange.

    Countryside, which was founded in 1958 and relisted on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year, completed 2,364 homes with revenues of £615.8 million for the year ended 30 September 2015.

    They will occupy the top floor – one of three levels of office space.

    Ian Kelley, Managing Director of Countryside’s Partnerships North division said: “As a leading home builder specialising in place making and urban regeneration we are delivering significant growth in the sector.

    “i10’s strategic location and quality of accommodation were a major draw as we look to expand our Partnerships business into the West Midlands where we see great opportunity for urban regeneration.”

    Tim Johnson, City of Wolverhampton Council Strategic Director of Place, added: “It is a big feather in the cap of Wolverhampton to attract such a prominent name as Countryside.

    “The i10 development certainly has the wow factor and its location at the gateway to the city for people getting off the national transport network has been a major selling point.

    “We can now look forward to seeing the occupiers thrive and hopefully encourage other business to similarly invest in Wolverhampton.”

    Ovivo last month signed up as office tenants at i10 and City of Wolverhampton Council is in advanced negotiations with another business for the remaining floor of office space, while Greene King, Superdrug and Kaspa’s Desserts have already filled four of the six retail units on the ground floor.

    As well as encouraging more investment and boosting prosperity in the city, i10 forms part of the gateway to the city for people arriving by rail, bus or Metro.

    Wider development will include a new state-of-the-art railway station and the Metro line extension, which will include a new stop at the station.

    Work has started on the refurbishment and extension of the railway station car park and the new bus station is already in use.