Wolverhampton: the Black Country’s shopping centre
With 1 million sq ft of retail in the city centre and three major retail parks, Wolverhampton is the heart of retail in the Black Country.
The city centre alone turns over £535 million each year from a catchment area of 439,612 people, making it one of the country’s 70 top retail zones.
The central core is home to around 1400 businesses, with a great range of multi-nationals and mix of independent businesses. It’s also benefiting from substantial investment.
In the last 12 months, it’s attracted over £150 million of private and public funding and a further £717 million of investment is planned. This includes significant investment in the city’s flagship Mander Shopping Centre. New owners of the Mander Centre, Benson Elliot are making a £35 million investment in the retail core with Debenhams signed up as anchor tenant, cementing the city’s position as a key regional shopping destination.
Hear Peter Cornforth, Director of Retail at Benson Elliot talk about their Mander Centre investment.
Among the leading brands in the city centre are House of Fraser, M&S, Boots, Next, River Island, Primark, Argos and New Look.
On the edge of the city centre are three major retail parks - Bentley Bridge (the largest), St Johns and the Mitre Retail Park. There are also two large supermarkets operated by Asda and Sainsburys.
Wolverhampton also has a strong network of district centres, including ‘town centres’ at Bilston and Wednesfield as well as the leafy suburbs of Tettenhall Village.
Both Wolverhampton City Centre and Bilston Town Centre have successfully voted for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). The Wolverhampton BID will deliver £3 million worth of investment while the Bilston BID will provide £500,000, both over the next five years.
The city’s working hard to develop the next generation of retail talent.
City of Wolverhampton College offers a range of training across both the retail and customer service sectors. The college is developing its retail offer with a retail academy, with various enterprise initiatives. Presently, the College offers a Level 2 Retail Knowledge Apprenticeship Framework and a Level 3 Retail Knowledge Advanced Apprenticeship Framework.