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National museum part of £7m city Wetherspoon plan

Wetherspoon has chosen City of Wolverhampton to host its national museum as part of official plans submitted to the council for a £7 million makeover of The Moon Under Water pub.

Day image of the new look The Moon Underwater in Lichfield Street, City of Wolverhampton
Day image of the new look The Moon Underwater

Night image of the new look The Moon Underwater in Lichfield Street, City of Wolverhampton
Night image of the new look The Moon Underwater

The exciting scheme also includes proposals to build a 70 bedroom hotel above the Lichfield Street venue.

The 40,000 sq ft space above the pub, with its Art Deco frontage, has been empty for more than 30 years.

It was previously home for the old Co-op store, which opened in 1931, and sits opposite the Grand Theatre.

If the plans are approved, it could generate up to 50 jobs.

The news follows the Grand Theatre's recent announcement of plans to expand into the former post office next door to build a pop up theatre and the council's proposal to pedestrianise part of Lichfield Street.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: "We have great plans for the popular The Moon under Water pub in Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton.

"Subject to planning permission we aim to invest £7 million on the new pub, to extend it and also to build a hotel above it. It would also create many new jobs.

"We believe this will be great for the pub, its customers and just as importantly the city itself.

"We are also confident that it would act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in Wolverhampton.

"We also feel the museum will prove popular with people who want to know more of the history of the company and see artefacts from the past. The fact that Wetherspoon wishes to house it in Wolverhampton is positive for the city."

The vast 5 storey building, where The Moon Under Water is based on the ground floor, takes up half of one side of Lichfield Street but only the pub is currently based there.

Its neighbour, the old tavern O'Connells, closed around 5 years ago and the majority of the 40,000 sq ft premises is currently derelict.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, added: "This planning application from Wetherspoon is very welcome and, subject to approval, will breathe new life into this building.

"There is currently £1 billion investment in the city centre and this exciting scheme is another example of the growing in confidence in our city.

"It will deliver a significant number of jobs and for a national chain like Wetherspoon to choose City of Wolverhampton for its national museum is an honour."

  • released: Thursday 13 December, 2018