Lighting up the City project already making an impact
January 5, 2018
Visitors to Wolverhampton city centre will now see streets, public features and open spaces brought to life by new LED lighting throughout the year.
Phase one of the Lighting Up the City project got underway in August and is already helping create a brighter and more inviting environment that feels safe during both day and night.
The focus of the scheme is on a 1.5-mile walking route through the city centre.
It has so far seen the dressing of the Dudley Street and Cheapside trees with lights along with other locations, as well as a light curtain in Exchange Street.
The Queen Square fountain and steps, and St Peter’s Gardens have had new lights installed, while uplighters now showcase the Lady Wulfruna statue outside St Peter’s Church and Lock Street open space.
Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: “This project aims to showcase some of the many architecturally interesting features and 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 lighting up of selected areas of trees across the city centre and public features has already significantly enhanced 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 is of course being carried out with the environment in mind by using LED lighting to reduce energy demand.”
Prior to phase one work to upgrade existing lighting schemes within the city, including the Cenotaph at St Peter’s Square, and the Ionic Order at Wednesfield, was completed.
Long-term plans include the introduction of pocket parks - small green spaces in an urban setting.
A number of buildings and structures have also been identified across the city centre for enhanced lighting and will require agreement and support from a number of different partners.
The council has had discussions with partners such as the University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, House of Fraser, and the Mander Centre, as the final proposal is developed.
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.