Shropshire Star

Three world leading venue operators were in bidding to run Civic Halls

Three of the world's leading venue operators were bidding to run Wolverhampton's Civic Halls, the city council's leader has revealed.

A CGI of how the new Civic halls will look

It was announced earlier this week that AEG Presents – which runs London's Apollo and the O2 area – would operate the city's iconic venue it reopens next year.

The Civic is set to reopen in early 2022 after a refurb project which has seen long delays and its cost quadruple to more than £40 million.

Councillor Ian Brookfield, Wolverhampton Council's leader, revealed that three of the world's leading operators were vying to operate the venue – with AEG Presents coming out on top. It is not known which other two venues were looking to run the Civic.

In a video shared to the council's Twitter account, Councillor Brookfield said: "The bid to run the Civic Hall was a very competitive process – and we had three of the world's leading operators all vying.

"It just shows the level of interest the Civic Hall has, its history, its part of the touring machine that goes on in this country.


"We were really pleased that we had three of the world's leading operators and indeed we are overwhelmed and overjoyed that AEG Presents have won it. They have got the contacts and experience to deliver a fantastic experience.

"It is not going to cost residents a single penny. So it's a win win for the city, local businesses, our visitors, our events city. It has been a long road, but a worthwhile road.

A huge difference

"Coming out of the pandemic, how much influence will the Civic Halls bring to the city ­– it is going to bring a huge amount.

"We all know night time economy, we want people to use the city centre, we want to be an events city, we want people to enjoy the leisure facilities we have – so having an anchor institution like this operating seven days a week with major bands, artists and comedians from around the world is going to be the icing on top of the cake.

"It will make a huge difference to the city and the people that live in it."

Councillor Stephen Simkins, cabinet member for city economy, added: "It will have a real financial impact for us and businesses on the back of Civic Hall. It is really important that we do business like this and we attract businesses like this so we can grow the wider economy and develop Wolverhampton.

"It is key for everybody and it is also key for us. It puts us onto the world stage. What is important for us is its not just about the international stage, AEG will give back to the community as well – and that is fantastic for us."

AEG Presents owns and operates more than 40 sites and recently landed the contract to run a music venue at Olympia London.

It also puts on the annual All Points East Festival and has promoted tours for Justin Bieber, Bon Jovi, Shawn Mendes, Rod Stewart and The Who.

Work on the halls will eventually see the height above the stage to the rear of the Civic increased to attract bigger touring bands.

Better seats are being fitted, along with extra bars and new balconies.

The revamp is part of wider plans for the city, including the delayed Westside development and a move to bring in a top hotel.

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