One of the borough's greatest assets is its network of diverse towns and local centres, each with its own distinctive character and range of attractions.
The Council has for some time identified the Sub Regional Centre of Brierley Hill/Merry Hill and the main borough town centres of Dudley, Halesowen Stourbridge as being a priority for action and investment.
In 2005/06 resources were secured for the regeneration of the boroughs 16 district and local centres.
District centres are described in the Unitary Development Plan as those areas that provide a wide range and choice of goods and services at the local level. They all benefit from good public transport links, car parking provision and a strong walk-in catchment. They provide a natural focus for community facilities and are traditionally a main shopping destination.
The borough’s diverse local centres generally have between 10-15 units, a small or medium scale supermarket and a range of convenience outlets. Many residents, particularly the less mobile rely heavily on these centres.
In December 2008 a review of the 16 centres was carried out to identify those with the greatest need in terms of regeneration. This review undertook an individual analysis of each of the centres, highlighting specific issues and provided a summary of the key issues, with an evaluation of performance against some basic criteria. The criteria used were vacancy levels, retail representation in the protected frontage, diversity of uses and traffic congestion. Please see attachment at the end of this page: 'District and Local Centre Reviews' document (pdf file).
The centres that have been identified as a priority as a result of the review are Shell Corner, Lye, Cradley, Pensnett, Quarry Bank, Netherton and Wordsley.
This review and priority list was approved by Cabinet in September 2009.
In the remaining non priority district and local centres Regeneration Plans are not currently being developed but regeneration projects are being supported as required within the resources available.