Opening season at The Halls Wolverhampton is estimated to have boosted the local economy by almost £1.6million – and supported over 250 people into employment.
The new look Halls burst back into life in May as Britpop legends Blur marked the official reopening of the iconic venue with a sell-out show. Opening season saw 25 shows staged between 26 May and 13 July, attracting more than 50,000 visitors to Wolverhampton, with 20% of sales coming from WV postcodes, 60% from the wider region and 20% from other UK and international visitors.
With the summer music festival season now in full swing, the next show at The Halls Wolverhampton will take place on 1 September. Tickets are on sale for a host of top acts coming to the new 3,404-capacity ‘The Civic at The Halls Wolverhampton’ and 1,289-capacity ‘The Wulfrun at The Halls Wolverhampton’ in 2023 and 2024.
City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for Visitor City, Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, said: “As we expected, The Halls Wolverhampton is proving to be the cornerstone of a resurgent night-time economy in the city centre - and we know businesses are now planning use of their resources around its events.
“There has been excellent feedback from artists, managers, agents, promoters and ticket holders to the new-look venue and it is raising the city’s national and international profile – one customer even flew in from the Philippines solely to attend The Script show. Working closely with the new operator, AEG Presents, the venue’s rich heritage has been preserved and our vision of reimagining an iconic institution that will continue to bring joy to the lives of locals – and city visitors - for years to come has been realised.
“It will play a key part in shaping our city centre and is fostering growing confidence in Wolverhampton through more private sector investment. There is also strong potential for the delivery of a quality hotel offer and we are working with partners to entice more private sector food and beverage provision.”
Steve Homer, CEO at AEG Presents UK, said “We couldn’t be more pleased with the way the opening weeks have gone at The Halls, the response from the music industry has been incredibly positive and we were delighted to welcome over 50,000 people through the doors in the first month.
“Seeing the local businesses thriving in the hours leading up to the shows has been a great sight to behold – the calendar for the autumn and beyond is looking strong so we are starting as we mean to go on.” As well as hosting leading music and entertainment performers, The Halls Wolverhampton is also staging business events and conferences.
Investment in The Halls is part of a masterplan for the city centre to improve visitor economy. This includes extensive public realm improvement works that have now been completed on Victoria Street and North Street as part of a £22million package of investment in the west of the city centre.
The scheme has created better public spaces that is attracting more visitors and enabling businesses to thrive and grow through a blended approach of retail supported by events and activities in quality public spaces and city centre living. Further improvement works to come in the west of the city centre include the development of a new Box Space entertainment and events venue - set to open just off Victoria Street in 2024.