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Plans to rollout 5G network across city ‘at pace’

Council bosses have revealed plans to rollout 5G networks ‘at pace’ after meeting with ministers at a new building in the Black Country.

The i9 building is part of a £150million interchange in Wolverhampton, and will be the first ministerial building outside of London.

Located in the heart of the city, the new site will be connected to the highly anticipated HS2 network.

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After a meeting with politicians at the site on Friday, September 10, City of Wolverhampton Council revealed plans to make the area one of the most digitally connected cities in the UK.

They announced that 5G and gigabit speed, full fibre broadband will be ‘rolled out at pace’ across the city.

The i9 building is bringing multiple jobs to the region, with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) set to house hundreds of staff, including ministers and senior civil servants, at the site.

Recruitment has already begun for new vacancies, including apprenticeships, with over 100 staff employed so far – 95 into new positions.

Council Leader, Cllr Ian Brookfield, said: “The Council has worked hard to make this happen and we are delighted to formally welcome the MHCLG to i9 and our wonderful city. It is a huge vote of confidence in Wolverhampton.

(L-R) City of Wolverhampton Mayor, Cllr Greg Brackenridge, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, MHCLG Permanent Secretary, Jeremy Pocklington, and City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Cllr Ian Brookfield

“It’s also a big endorsement of the Council’s ambitious plans to invest in – and develop – a new multi-million-pound commercial district in the heart of the city centre, right next to our new, award-winning railway station with its excellent connections to London, Birmingham and Manchester.

“Most importantly, this investment is delivering, exciting, well-paid jobs and opportunities for Wolverhampton residents.

“The kudos of being the first place outside of Whitehall to host a Government department is creating a real buzz and interest in our city, attracting further investment which is exactly what we want to be able to ‘relight’ Wolverhampton, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.

“Wolverhampton is the ideal location in the heart of the country, with enviable connectivity to the rest of the West Midlands and beyond.

City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Cllr Ian Brookfield and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, walked from the city’s new railway station to the i9 building
City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Cllr Ian Brookfield and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, walked from the city’s new railway station to the i9 building

“When the idea of MHCLG moving out of London was first discussed last year, the Council, local MPs and other stakeholders lobbied hard to make it a reality and that has paid off.”

The Council and leading property developer, Ion, selected Glenn Howells Architects’ design for i9 as the winner from a strong field of ten UK leading architects and urban design practices in a national design competition.

Contractors GRAHAM completed the i9 build in early August, constructing six floors of stunning Grade A office space, including the potential for 5,600sq ft of retail or leisure space.

City of Wolverhampton Council Mayor, Cllr Greg Brackenridge with Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick
City of Wolverhampton Council Mayor, Cllr Greg Brackenridge with Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick

Ion Development Director, Rob Mason, said: “We are delighted to welcome the first ministerial department outside London to i9.

“It is testament to the success of the building – one we were determined would demonstrate sustainability, future-proofing and a desire to regenerate communities within the city centre – that we have the endorsement of the MHCLG who will make it their new home.

“As with i10, we continue to see a considerable demand for i9’s Grade A office space, no doubt attributable in part to the increased connectivity Wolverhampton’s award-winning Interchange scheme has brought to the city.”

Agreements are close to being finalised with other big-name occupiers to take the remainder of the office space.

The Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) also supported the development of i9.

Information on the job opportunities available with MHCLG at i9 is available here.

For the latest on Wolverhampton, read our Black Country newsletter.



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