• Former Steam Mill stalwart welcomes Interchange progress

    The man who locked up the JN Miller Ltd Steam Mill for the last time has welcomed the progress of the Wolverhampton Interchange project after taking a trip down memory lane.

    Norman Holding, aged 71, joined the Corn Hill-based company in 1960 after leaving school and worked his way up to become General Manager and a board Director.

    In September 1991 he turned the key in the door for the final time as he walked out with the administrators when the company closed.

    The council recently invited Norman down to the site of the former Steam Mill, where Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets, presented him with some bricks from the building and a copy of a document detailing its history.

    Demolition of the mill is progressing well as the next phase in the multi-million Interchange scheme.

    It will pave the way for the start of the extension and refurbishment of Wolverhampton’s railway station multi-storey car park in January.

    Norman, who is born and bred in Wolverhampton, said: “It was nice to be standing on the ground again looking at the old place.

    “And I am thrilled the council allowed me to make the visit and presented me with some memorabilia, which I will treasure.

    “The building all looks a bit different to how I left it all those years ago – but it’s nice to see things moving on in Wolverhampton.

    “It is a great place to live and always has been.”

    Councillor Bilson added:

    “I’m delighted we could help with Norman’s request to take a look at the old Steam Mill one last time and collect some memorabilia.

    “It was great to meet him. He had some fantastic stories to tell about his days at JN Miller.

    “He has lived in Wolverhampton for the majority of his life and it was very interesting to hear his views on the Interchange works.”

  • Interchange plan moving forward as plans submitted

    Plans to transform Wolverhampton City Centre and create an international quality transport gateway moved a step forward with the submission of a planning application to extend and refurbish the multi-storey car park at Wolverhampton railway station, doubling the number of parking spaces to 900.

    The planning application has been submitted by lead developers Ion Property Developments Limited and Wolverhampton City Council, and will see a new 520 space car park, cycle and motorcycle park and 18 birth taxi rank built as an extension to the existing multi- storey and the creation of a new access off Mill Street.

    The plans pave the way for the submission of the next stage of the Interchange scheme for a brand new railway station in the New Year.

    Ion Property Developments Limited Managing Director Steve Parry commented;

    “This is an important element within the overall Interchange scheme and the vision for a modern state-of-the-art transport hub in Wolverhampton City Centre. The facilities for both car drivers and cyclists are being extended and improved with a high quality design in keeping with the aspirations that we have set for the overall project.”

    Councillor Peter Bilson, Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration & Prosperity said: “The Interchange is a main gateway to the city centre and is a strategic regeneration priority for the council. The car park will be the next stage in creating a truly integrated transport hub. The existing multi-storey car park at the railway station is very dated and widely regarded as a bit of an eyesore. Our vision is for a modern, attractive Interchange so that the many thousands of visitors to our city arrive here and instantly see that we are a city that means business and is going places. The new car park is an essential element of that vision”

    The new facility has been designed by ASL architects. Lead architect Richard Cronin explained their approach:

    “The brief was not only to provide much-needed additional car parking space in the city centre, but also provide an attractive modern building that enhances this important gateway site. This is the place where many people arrive in Wolverhampton and we to need create the best possible first impression. We have looked at similar projects elsewhere in the UK and internationally to achieve the highest design standards and create the best possible passenger environment in terms of quality, safety and accessibility. This is very much a piece in a bigger and emerging scheme, but is reflecting the values that underpin the Interchange vision”

    The car park is the next phase in the Interchange masterplan which will see over £100 m of public and private investment and comprise a state-of-the-art integrated transport hub along with over 300,000 sq ft of commercial floor space.

    As part of a comprehensive approach to delivering the Interchange masterplan, the Council and Ion Property Developments Limited, working with Centro, Network Rail, Virgin Trains and the Canal & River Trust, are finalising proposals to redevelop the railway station and extend the existing Metro line to the new station.

    The application to extend and refurbish the car park demonstrates commitment from  the partners  to deliver the wider project with plans for the new railway station on course to be revealed in the New Year.

  • Interchange project moves forward

    The next phase of a multi-million pound Wolverhampton city centre regeneration scheme has taken a major step forward with the submission of a planning application.

    In September, the Council confirmed an investment of up to £10.6 million to deliver new offices and shops at the Interchange. Detailed plans for a new mixed office and retail building, situated next to the bus and railway stations have now been put forward to the local planning authority.

    The building, to be known as Interchange 10 and comprising 36,000 sq. ft. of high quality office accommodation arranged over three floors, will be constructed to BREEAM Excellent standard, making it one of the most sustainable buildings in the city.

    The offices will sit above 12,400 sq. ft. of leisure and retail accommodation. Wolverhampton City Council is funding the scheme and its development partner, Ion Property Developments Limited is managing the delivery process.

    If approved, it is intended that work will start on site in April 2014 with the building taking 15 months to complete.

    The first element of the Interchange scheme comprising the new bus station, access improvements to the railway station, a commercial building which is home to Sainsbury’s Local and the refurbishment of the Queens Building was completed in 2012.

    As part of a comprehensive approach to delivering the Interchange master plan, the Council and Ion, working with Centro and the Canal & River Trust, are also finalising proposals with Network Rail and Virgin Trains for a new railway station building and a refurbished/extended multi-storey car park.

    This will be complemented by Centro’s proposals for an extension of the Midland Metro into the station area.

    Councillor Peter Bilson said: “The Interchange is a main gateway to the city centre and is a strategic regeneration priority for the Council, as demonstrated by our commitment to invest in this important building.

    “We are aware of a number of enquiries for Grade A office space and this is our response to meet that demand and to grow the local economy through the creation of high quality employment floorspace in the city centre.

    “The submission of the detailed planning application marks a major step forward in the regeneration of the city centre. We hope that by investing in Interchange 10, we can lead the way for private investment to be attracted to the city to deliver more quality office and retail/family leisure accommodation.

    “We are already in discussions with a number of potential occupiers for the building which is extremely encouraging.”

    Ion’s Director Rob Mason said: “We have been working very closely with the City Council on these proposals which will see much needed Grade A office accommodation delivered in the City Centre.

    “We are confident the accessible location and high environmental standards will prove attractive to inward investors.”