By Mark Davidson
Tesco has revealed a new plan to rejuvenate Wolverhampton’s ageing Royal Hospital into a state of the art retail-led centre.
If given the go-ahead the 139,800 sq ft site will offer retail, office and community facilities, and provide the region with over 600 jobs.
Part of the supermarket group’s plans are to restore and reuse the main hospital building by integrating a store with an impressive store lobby and café, as well as other features.
Corporate Affairs Manager at Tesco Tony Fletcher said: “The priority has been to find an alternative use for restoring the building and a superstore-led mixed use scheme provides the most viable option for securing the planning, heritage and regeneration benefits for the Royal Hospital site and wider All Saints area.
“This new proposal also responds to the recent independent core strategy recommendations for the Black Country and the Peel’s assessment of its superstore proposal on its out-of-centre retail park site.”
Pre-application talks have started between the grocer and the council and the food store is being designed with a wider plan, which will see residential areas appear on the remainder of the site.
The planning application, which follows the announcement of a similar Tesco-hospital regeneration programme in Newcastle, is expected to go to the council in April 2011.
If the decision goes Tesco’s way then the store could open for trade as early as Christmas 2012.