£40million secured for Dudley borough
A £40million boost to education and transport facilities in Dudley borough has been hailed as a “pivotal moment” by the council’s leader.
The government has today (November 20) confirmed Dudley Council has been successful in round three of levelling up funding.
Two £20million bids have been approved, one for Halesowen and one for Brierley Hill.
In Halesowen, the council will work with Halesowen College to create a new college building in the town centre for vocational training programmes and adult education courses.
It is proposed that Pool Road car park will be demolished to make way for the new building with alternative car parking arrangements available at Andrews Road car park and at the adjacent leisure centre.
The money will also be used to improve the town’s cycling provision, introduce traffic calming measures and improve pedestrian access.
In Brierley Hill, the council will progress plans to work with Dudley College to create a new transport technologies centre and improve transport links in Brierley Hill.
The transport technologies centre will expand existing facilities to offer training and upskilling in future transport technologies, including electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as the wider applications of electrification on our local industries.
There will also be investment in the way people can move around the town, through improving connectivity between the new technology centre, Merry Hill Centre and the High Street. This will include extending and adding to the existing cycling infrastructure and improving pedestrian access.
Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove has visited Brierley Hill today to learn more about the plans first-hand.
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:
This is a pivotal moment for the future of Halesowen and Brierley Hill town centres as it will allow us to push ahead with our ambitious regeneration plans.
We’ve already been successful in securing Future High Streets and Heritage Action Zone funding for Brierley Hill, which is allowing us to improve transport links and the High Street, upgrade public toilets, refurbish the library and provide new seating, planting and cycle facilities for the town.
Brierley Hill is also set to benefit from the Midland Metro extension, which will link it to Wednesbury via Dudley town centre and the national rail network beyond.
But with this funding we can go further and continue with our commitment to improve the borough for the people who live, work, visit or study here.
In Halesowen, the new college building will be right in the town centre and provide upskilling opportunities to boost employability standards.
In Brierley Hill, the new technology centre will allow students to be at the cutting edge of technology and support a growing industry where more people are choosing to drive hybrid or electric vehicles to reduce their carbon emissions.
I welcome this investment and look forward to seeing these projects get off the ground.
Neil Thomas, Chief Executive and Principal at Dudley College of Technology, said:
I am delighted we have secured the investment in this new facility in Brierley Hill. The college’s vision is to provide a state-of-the-art learning centre offering training and upskilling in future transport technologies. We will be expanding our current provision by relocating our Wolverhampton Street site, so we support both young people and adults to work with electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as in industries making use of the wider applications of electrification.
It is especially pleasing to see the continued expansion of education in Brierley Hill as a way of providing opportunities for all.
Jacquie Carman, Chief Executive and Principal at Halesowen College, said:
I am delighted that the college now has further opportunity to have a positive impact on Halesowen Town Centre. Education, training and the development of skills is pivotal to driving our community forward and enabling businesses in our area to recruit the talent needed to bridge the current skills gap.
Notes to editors
Picture caption left to right: Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove, Neil Thomas from Dudley College, Mike Wood MP, Councillor Patrick Harley and Helen Martin, director of regeneration and enterprise at Dudley Council.