The University of Wolverhampton has placed a bid for the Beatties building in Wolverhampton city centre.
The iconic Beatties store was recently put up for sale by its current owners, Insolvency Practitioners, with a guide price of £3 million.
Beatties is an iconic landmark in the City, is in a pivotal central site in the city centre and has been at the centre of a community action plan to save the historic building which has been fully endorsed by the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street.
For over 200 years the University has played a proactive role in the economic and cultural success of the city and is committed to developing new, innovative and sustainable commercial income streams.
The University is currently investing £100 million in creating a new construction excellence campus in the city. Home to the West Midlands University Technical College, the University’s School of Architecture and Built Environment, and the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills, the regeneration of the former Springfield Brewery is central to the University’s vision of enhancing the student experience and supporting business growth.
Investment in the Beatties building will include incubation space, residential, pop-up retail and leisure opportunities for communities and students as well as a focus on arts and cultural activities.
The University is committed to retaining the Beatties name.
Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor at the University, said: “Wolverhampton is very much a University city and we want, alongside our other civic partners, to ensure that it remains a vibrant and viable place for people to study, work and live.
“This iconic building lies at the heart of the city and it would be our intention to use the space creatively, working with our staff and students as well as external partners and local stakeholders to breathe life back into the building and to create a new chapter for Beatties and for the University.
“We have invested significantly in the city and this is the next step to assist in long term regeneration as well as further demonstrating our commitment to the city, the University and securing our place as the leading HE provider in the region.”
The University is scoping out potential use of the building aligned with its long term strategic plan to secure its financial position by expanding and developing its provision for future generations.