Work begins on £7.8m Walsall town centre development
Work has started on a multi-million development to transform a town centre and create up to 120 jobs.
Contractors have moved onto the Wisemore Central site in Walsall, next to Tesco Extra, to start the project.
It will see a 60-bedroom Travelodge Hotel, a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant and a further 15,000 sq ft of leisure and retail premises built in the town.
The £7.8m development will be complete by the end of the year, transforming the current derelict site while generating between 100 and 120 jobs.
Financial support for the redevelopment has come from the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) Collective Investment Fund, which has provided £6.9m of investment.
Simon Neilson, executive director for economy and environment at Walsall Council, said: “It is fantastic news construction is now underway on the Wisemore Central scheme, continuing the momentum of Walsall’s regeneration.
“This is a prominent site along the ring-road corridor, which will enhance the town centre and create many local jobs once completed later this year.”
Also signed up to the project are Explore Learning, GDK and Costa, with a further unit to let. The scheme is expected to generate a mixture of full and part-time posts.
The development will fit in with the £400m ‘Gigaport’ scheme, an envisaged hi-tech office corridor linked up to high-speed internet, with the potential over time to create up to 3,200 jobs, retain and attract new commercial enterprises to the town.
Construction firm Stepnell were chosen last month to build the development.
Also working on the scheme are architects Corstorphine & Wright, Nolan Associates, quantity surveyors RPS, project managers Rose Project Services and property agents Wright Silverwood.
Leader of the council, councillor Sean Coughlan, said he was delighted to see work moving forward.
He said: “It is good news for Walsall and shows businesses are committed to the town and can see there’s opportunities for people to visit there and stay in the hotel.
“And of course the WMCA has been keen to support new businesses, which we’ve welcomed.
"It is a good news story and the last but one piece of work along that ring road to take place.
"At a time when people are saying the economy is down, we seem to be bucking the trend in Walsall compared to the rest of the Black Country.
“We’ve got more shops opening than closing and now we’ve got a new hotel built in the area – signs are looking good.
“I think it’s just one part of people recognising that Walsall is the place to be and it means jobs for people and security for them and their families.”