TheStudios take a look at the multi-million-pound city centre revamp
It truly is a great time to choose Wolverhampton as your destination to live, work and socialise! Thanks to £15.7 million Wolverhampton City Council secured from the Future High Street Fund, a complete overhaul of the high street, Victoria Square and connecting streets is set to transform the appearance and accessibility of the city centre.
A New Era for Wolverhampton
After months of groundwork, new granite paving is currently being installed on Salop Street, School Street and Victoria Street. New taxi loading bays, cycle paths and bus stops are also being constructed, giving better access in and around the city.
Trees and planters will also be installed in these areas, making them much more attractive and inviting to visitors and residents of the city.
These works are set to complete by February 2023 and will surely bring a new lease of life to Wolverhampton.
Wolverhampton Civic Hall Renovations
The area surrounding the legendary Civic Hall is also seeing the gradual transformation, with the pedestrianisation of Mitre Fold and the construction of a new carriageway link. Set to complete in Autumn 2022, the concert venue itself will reopen after extensive refurbishment under venue operator AEG Presents.
Wolverhampton Civic Hall is renowned for attracting some of the biggest acts from the UK and globally, thanks to its great acoustics and convenient city-centre location.
Reasons to Choose Wolverhampton
With such a visible, tangible transformation taking shape in the city, there’s never been a better time to consider Wolverhampton when choosing a place to work and live.
Whether looking to commute or travel for leisure, Its central location in the West Midlands grants excellent transport and road links to Birmingham, London and beyond.
The cost of living is comparatively lower than that of most cities in England and the West Midlands, particularly when located in the city centre.
Wolverhampton was named the best place to live in the UK, according to a survey by Provident in 2020. The city was ranked highest for all categories in the survey, which included how welcoming the city is, how friendly residents are, how polite residents are, safety, upkeep of the area, trust, happiness and gossip!
A Brief History of Wolverhampton
So, we can see where Wolverhampton as a city is going, but how did it begin? As far back as 994 AD, a Saxon lady named Wulfruna founded a church with a monastery in Heanton, a settlement which later changed its name to ‘Wulfruna’s Heanton’ before settling with ‘Wolverhampton’ which we know and love.
Over the next couple of centuries, Wolverhampton became a market town, known for its trade in wool and weaving. This continued until 1590 when the city was devastated by a fire, destroying buildings and the market itself. Another fire occurred in 1696, this time destroying houses in its wake.
The Road to Expansion
By the 18th century, Wolverhampton found itself conveniently situated on the road from London to Holyhead – the main port to Ireland. The increased traffic brought greater footfall to the town, when visitors would stop to buy steel jewellery, buckles, and sword hilts. Like most towns around the time, Wolverhampton was transformed by the industrial revolution of the latter 18th century.
Goods began to move to and from the town when the first canal was opened in 1772, increasing Wolverhampton’s prominence and importance nationwide. By 1801 the population reached over 12,000 residents.
From Steel to Iron
We come to the 19th century when Wolverhampton began to expand and grow rapidly, moving from the steel goods trade to iron locks and similar items. A train manufacture and repair factory was built by Great Western Railway, bringing many jobs to Wulfrunians.
As the century progressed, so did the city with the implementation of gaslight in 1821 and electricity in 1895. The first hospital opened in 1849 after an epidemic of cholera, with health conditions improving thanks to the creation of sewerage systems. The city also became renowned for its making of bicycles in the late 19th century.
The 19th century also marked Wolverhampton’s forming of a local government and the appointment of its first mayor.
Twentieth Century and Beyond
By 1901, the population had increased to 95,000 with the Civic Hall opening in 1938. Many of the troubles that affected the rest of the country hit Wolverhampton during the first and second world wars, however, the level of devastation from bombings was far less than that of neighbouring towns.
A manufacturing boom came to the city in the ’50s and 60s, however, went into decline in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.
Wolverhampton was granted city status in 2001 and boasts a population of 256,000 as of 2020. Home to the popular and successful University of Wolverhampton, the institution attracts over 2,500 students each year from around the world.
Main Attractions in Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
When visiting Wolverhampton city centre, be sure to visit its public Art Gallery on Lichfield Street, which showcases historical pieces from the area and regularly changing contemporary exhibits. Take in a fine example of ornate Georgian architecture as you browse over 300 years of collected art work and sculpture.
Admission is free to all, find out more about Wolverhampton Art Gallery here.
We’ve said it once and we’ll keep on saying it, Wolverhampton West Park is truly worth a visit if you haven’t visited before. Previously know as ‘People’s Park’, it remains one of the finest examples of Victorian municipal parks in the midlands. Tennis courts, tea rooms and a boating lake amongst an expanse of green space and flowers make West Park the jewel in the city centre’s crown.
Find out more about West Park here
Black Country Living Museum
If you’re willing to take a short trip outside of the city centre, the famous Black Country Living Museum is sure to entertain curious minds of all ages.
Built completely from pre-existing buildings from Victorian era Black Country, step back in time as you walk the cobbled streets, browse the old-time shops or ride an electric trolley-bus! Enjoy freshly made sweets and some of the best fish and chips the black country has to offer.
Find out more and book tickets here
Still undecided? Check out our blog – Great Days Out in Wolverhampton for some inspiration.
Looking for a great place to live in Wolverhampton? Find out more about TheStudios and the benefits of choosing serviced apartments.