The project aims to provide grants to assist owners with essential repairs and improvements to their properties in Queen Street, possibly one of the most historic streets in the Wolverhampton City Centre Conservation Area.
The award will help to support the city’s Interchange scheme, improving an important pedestrian route from the bus and rail stations through to the city centre’s main retail shopping area.
Development funding of £40,000 has been initially awarded to help the council develop plans to improve the properties.
Once the plans have been approved, a further £864,000 will be made available in the form of grants which will support the costs of repairs and improvements for businesses and property owners.
Councillor Peter Bilson, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Prosperity, said: “This is exciting and welcoming news for the city and will enable the council to provide real support for struggling businesses in this important part of the city centre. We shall be working closely with property owners, and our project partners, over the next few months to develop proposals for the area.”
Reyahn King, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “Queen Street is destined to become a major pedestrian artery serving the town centre. Our decision to provide initial support and some immediate development funding, means that planning to restore historic buildings can begin in earnest. This will underpin this important local heritage while at the same time helping to reinvigorate the local economy.”
Queen Street has many important listed buildings dating back to the early 19th century.
The council will be working in partnership with WVOne and the Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society to deliver the scheme over the next five years. The project will also involve the local community in undertaking research into the history of the street which will eventually be made available through a series of new initiatives, including digital media.
Notes to editors
Queen Street was laid out at the beginning of the 19th century and contains some of the city’s most important historic buildings including the town’s first dispensary providing medical care for the poor, the first free library and the assembly rooms which were later converted into the County Court. The middle of the 19th century saw the opening of Wolverhampton’s two rival railway stations and Queen Street became the main route into the town centre for those arriving by rail until the 1880s when Lichfield Street was widened and extended. But Queen Street remained a key location for thriving businesses and became the home of a new prestigious headquarters building for the Express and Star newspaper in the 1930.
For more information or to arrange an interview or photograph, please contact Gurdip Thandi, Principal Communications Officer, Wolverhampton City Council’s News and Information Team on 01902 551 256, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.