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Home » Wolverhampton Aims To Become ‘events City’ Where People Choose To Relocate

Wolverhampton Aims To Become ‘events City’ Where People Choose To Relocate

A five-year plan to make Wolverhampton a “destination of choice” for visitors and a place where people might look to relocate has been drawn up by council bosses with the help of specialist consultants.

The strategy aims to use local events as just one aspect of a place-shaping tool to generate more visitors, business, investment and interest in the city from outside parties by 2028.

A full outline of the the plan, drawn from recommendations made by independent specialist consultants IPW, will be presented to the council’s economy and growth scrutiny panel on Wednesday (September 27) by communications and visitor experience boss Ian Fegan.

In a report to members Mr Fegan said: “This is part of wider plans to secure the city’s status and reputation regionally and nationally as a destination of choice for visitors. In recent years the council has invested in, or secured investment for, over £100 million pounds worth of key visitor economy infrastructure projects.

“This includes investment in a state-of-the-art transport hub interchange next to a new commercial district, The Halls Wolverhampton, a new Box Space entertainment zone, new public realm and improvements to the city’s art gallery.

“The city’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) identifies that the visitor, cultural and events sector is a key potential growth area for jobs and investment. Tourism, arts, culture and events play a key part in the wider ‘city marketing mix’ and visitor economy infrastructure/eco-system.

“In recent years, the council has made a significant contribution to the city’s visitor numbers and vibrancy through an active and diverse programme of events across a number of council-owned or run venues.

“During the 2022-23 financial year, this council-led programme delivered a series of major events including Vaisakhi which had 23,000 visitors, the Commonwealth Games Time Trial – 20,000 visitors, and the annual city fireworks display which had 17,000. Christmas lights events alone brought in nearly 40,000 people alongside very many smaller events in parks that attracted 50 to 100 visitors,” he added.

“More recently, Wolverhampton Pride 2023 in June brought 5,000 people into the city centre. Just over 300 ticket buyers responded to a post event survey highlighting that the average spend on the day in the city centre was £34.42, contributing £170,000 to the local economy. The event also raised £6,500 for city LGBT+ charities and there are plans to grow it in 2024.

“The city has strong foundations to build on in boosting its visitor economy from great indoor venues such as The Grand Theatre, The Civic and Wulfrun Halls and terrific outdoor spaces including West Park, Dunstall Park Racecourse), as well as flexible leisure spaces like Aldersley and Molineux Stadium.

“We also have strong community venues including Bilston Town Hall and many church halls, as well as urban spaces and green spaces. There is also the university’s increasingly diverse provision – Screen School, Arena Theatre – and heritage venues like Wightwick Manor and Moseley Old Hall,” said Mr Fegan.

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