£6m regeneration project is supported with cash from government’s Future High Streets Fund
Associated Architects has lodged proposals for a £6m food, entertainment and events venue in Wolverhampton that is inspired by the success of Boxpark-type shipping-container projects in other cities.
The practice’s plans, worked up for Wolverhampton City Council, would deliver around 1,450sq m of new space in 20 units on a 0.45ha site next to the city’s main shopping centre.
Associated Architects’ proposals for the venue involve corrugated metal cladding in a nod to the shipping-container look, but the main building would not be constructed from containers.
Wolverhampton City Council said the project was currently dubbed Bell Works in recognition of a Victorian ironmonger and manufacturer that previously existed in the quarter. The scheme will be funded with a mix of its own money and cash provided from the government’s Levelling Up Fund.
Cabinet memer Bhupinder Gakhal said the proposals would deliver a modern food, beverage and entertainment facility that would boost footfall and create “invaluable employment and business opportunities”.
“These type of spaces are hugely popular in other areas of the country such as Newcastle, London and Sheffield and will be a superb addition complementing Wolverhampton’s existing leisure, events and evening economy,” he said.
The city council added that the venue would also support the Halls Wolverhampton performance venues, which reopened last year after a protracted £50m refurbishment that was hit by numerous setbacks, including the collapse of contractor Shaylor Group in 2019.
Associated Architects’ design and access statement for Bell Works said the two-storey venue would have seating capacity for 750 people and standing capacity for a further 1,000.
The site currently hosts a car park and a disused council-owned building. A run of 1960s two-storey shops on part of the site was demolished last year.