Delayed revamp of concert hall proves ‘a disaster for city music’
THE future of one of Wolverhampton’s premier live music venues – closed for refurbishment since January – remains shrouded in mystery.
Wolverhampton City Council bosses are still uncertain when work will be completed and how much it will cost.
Essential repairs and a complete overhaul of the 80-year-old Civic Hall had been due for completion by October 2018, at an estimated total cost of £14.4 million.
But following the discovery of unforeseen structural problems with the grade ll-listed building in North Street, the completion date has been passed and the refurbishment work is already costing an extra £23.6 million than originally planned.
Frustrated music fans have been left scratching their heads as to when the venue will actually reo- pen and how much the work will cost once it is finally completed.
Self-employed organic gardener and music fan Steve Bradley, from Penn, said: “The city badly needs a functioning Civic Hall.
“It’s the jewel in our crown, culturally speaking, and vital as a linchpin in Wolverhampton’s nighttime economy, while also having a crucial role in driving footfall to the city during the day by staging hugely popular events such as the West Midlands Vegan Festival.
“I can’t be the only citizen to detect a lack of urgency in the work that is being carried out there.
“I know about the delays caused by structural problems and the attendant increase in costs but I can’t stress strongly enough how vital it is that the venue reopens promptly.
“I fear that the project has lost momentum and that promoters and artists will look elsewhere, wiping the Civic off the map. They need to get a move on. The silence is deafening.”
Mr Bradley, who has consistently attended gigs at the venue for more than 25 years, said his most memorable nights among many visits included gigs by Elvis Costello And The Attractions, Robert Plant, Bellowhead and Sigur Ros.
> Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall