JD Wetherspoon museum and hotel planning approved

JD Wetherspoon PLC

JD Wetherspoon has had its revised planning application for The Moon Under Water museum and hotel approved by Wolverhampton Council.

As reported by the BBC, the £7m revamp of the Wetherspoon building in Lichfield Street has been approved by Wolverhampton Council. The new plans will turn The Moon Under Water into a pub, hotel and Wetherspoon’s national Heritage Centre. Wolverhampton Council approved planning permission in 2018, but in January 2020 the company submitted revisions.

According to Wetherspoon’s spokesman Eddie Gershon, adding a hotel and Heritage Centre and renovating the popular pub “highlights our commitment to offering our customers the best pub possible”.

New plans include more rooms and more space for museum

Exterior of Moon Under Water Wetherspoon pub

JD Wetherspoon PLC

These revisions include an aditional floor which will provide an extra 22 rooms to bring the total number of rooms up to 90.  Furthermore, the Heritage Centre will now make use of the basement and ground floor.

The upper floors of the building have been out of use since 2006 and the new proposal will see them brought back to life. In a design and access statement, Wethersppon PLC said “The current building does dominate Lichfield Street and has a significant presence in the street-scene. It is unfortuante that the building has had such a hequered history and lain neglected for so many years.”

“Having already purchased the freehold and gaining permission to enlarged public house and a new hotel demonstrates the applicant’s commitment to this building and the City of Wolverhampton. This further proposed investment by the applicant will secure the viability of the business and the long term future of the building.”

New jobs generated by project

It is expected that the development will generate around 50 new jobs, which has been welcomed by authority chiefs. This renovation is part of a £1.1 billion investment into Wolverhampton city centre.

Wolverhampton city council economy boss Councillor Harman Banger said that “this exciting project will help transform one of our key city centre streets.” Furthermore, “it will deliver a significant number of jobs and for a national chain like Wetherspoon to choose City of Wolverhampton for its national Heritage Centre is an honour.”

The pub will remain open during the work. The renovated pub and hotel are expected to open in 2020. There has been no confirmed date for the Heritage Centre to open.

This development is indicative of a trend for museum hotels, as museums follow theme parks in creating accommodation to increase visitor stay and spend.