Plans to keep major entertainment events in the City of Wolverhampton that attract thousands of visitors and generate hundreds of thousands of pounds have been announced.
The move comes following the news the Civic Halls will be closed until the Autumn of 2020 for a major £38 million full restoration to create a state-of-the-art venue.
In the meantime, councillors were determined to keep high-profile events in the city rather than risk losing them to other venues.
Full Council has approved that key events already booked in at the Civic Halls for 2018 will now be switched to City of Wolverhampton Council-owned Aldersley Leisure Village (ALV).
This includes the Grand Slam of Darts and a number of premier comedy acts.
The Civic Halls are crucial to the cultural and economic life of the city. The current venue brings in thousands of visitors, directly supports 360 jobs and contributes £4.3m to the local economy.
The ability to switch these events to ALV gives these big acts a home in the City of Wolverhampton until they can return to the Civic Halls.
Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, said: “The Grand Slam of Darts puts the city on map, is watched by millions of people across the globe, attracts thousands of visitors to the city and brings in thousands of pounds.
“Following the announcement about the Civic Halls, many people told us it would be a disaster to lose these events from the city. We have listened, secured their future, and with it further investment.
“It is great news that we have been able to keep this key event in the city.
“We’re also engaging with local councillors and residents to ensure the events runs as smoothly as possible and any disruption, mainly traffic related, is kept to an absolute minimum.”
PDC Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The bwin Grand Slam of Darts is synonymous with being held in Wolverhampton, and though the Wolves Civic is currently closed it’s great that we can keep the tournament within the city.
“We’ve received great support from fans in the West Midlands and the City of Wolverhampton Council over the past decade, and I’m sure that the Aldersley Leisure Village will prove a popular new home for the event this year.”
Customers who had already purchased tickets for Civic Halls events are being kept fully informed about their options. Ticket information for the bwin Grand Slam of Darts will be confirmed in due course.