New scheme to light up the City of Wolverhampton

City of Wolverhampton is to be brought to life by lights under a new scheme.

The Lighting Up the City project is aimed at creating a brighter and more inviting environment that feels safe during both day and night.

It will see the introduction of improved lighting and greenery to the street scene along a 1.5-mile walking route.

If it gets the go-ahead from councillors at Cabinet Resources Panel on July 25 the first phase works will be carried out between August 2017 and February 2018.

Part of the project manager’s role will be to source funding, grants and partners to help finance the £520,000 first phase.

The scheme will include features at the new city centre market, Queen Square fountain and steps, Dudley Street light stacks and trees, the Lady Wulfruna statue,

Lock Street open space, Wishbone Bridge, St Peter’s Gardens, Civic Halls, and a University of Wolverhampton scheme at Deanery Place.

Work has already been undertaken to upgrade existing lighting schemes within the city, including the Cenotaph at St Peter’s Square, and the Ionic Order at Wednesfield.

Long-term plans include the introduction of pocket parks – small green spaces in an urban setting.

Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment, said:

“This project aims to showcase some of the many architecturally interesting buildings in the city, create a more interesting and attractive environment throughout the night and day, and create a greener and more inviting environment.

“The examples of the Cenotaph and the Ionic Order demonstrate how the application of even small scale lighting can significantly enhance the city centre environment.

“In creating a more inviting and safer environment it is anticipated that footfall will increase within the city resulting in economic benefits for the area. In addition, the inclusion of a walking route within the city is anticipated to contribute towards healthier lifestyles by increasing physical activity participation levels.

“The scheme will of course be carried out with the environment in mind by using LED lighting to reduce energy demand.”

A number of buildings and structures have been identified for enhanced lighting and will require agreement and support from a number of different partners.

The council has had initial discussions with partners such as the University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, House of Fraser, and the Mander Centre, and will continue these as the final proposal is developed.

It is envisaged that the final scheme will include a mixture of lighting schemes and green space enhancements, with animation at various locations also being considered, as well as variations to take into account celebrations such as Christmas and Diwali.

The council is also looking to introduce lighting schemes as part of new developments, such as the £55 million Westside project, and within forthcoming public realm improvement and connectivity projects that are being developed as part of the Connected Places Strategy delivery plan.

Efforts will also be made to introduce planning conditions that require developers to bring forward lighting schemes as part of any future city centre sites.

The council intends to lead by example by proposing a specific lighting scheme to enhance the main entrance of the city’s art gallery to showcase the many architectural aspects of the building.