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About the directorate

A key strategic aim for the division is delivering inward investment and regeneration projects, promoting Dudley, the Black Country and West Midlands as a destination to live, work, invest in and visit. This means partnership working with a wide variety of stakeholders, landowners, funding agencies and government agencies to bring forward sustainable and inclusive growth.

The service oversees a £1 billion regeneration programme across the borough, requiring bid development and submission, project and programme management and partnership working.

Culture, Leisure and Bereavement Services

The service operates four main leisure sites (the newly opened Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre in Dudley, refurbished centres at Crystal Leisure Centre in Stourbridge, Halesowen Leisure Centre and the Dell stadium) and the former Coseley School sports hall and pitches to provide sporting facilities including pools, courts, pitches and gyms.

The service operates three town halls at Stourbridge, Dudley and Halesowen. Significant investment is underway at Dudley to enhance the offer via a bistro and extended bar area and investment in the sound equipment.

The service operates the two crematoria (Gornal and Stourbridge) and is responsible for eight cemetery sites.

Himley Hall hosts a range of hospitality events (e.g. afternoon teas, parties, weddings, life celebrations) and has a welcoming on-site café.

Red House Glass Cone has a range of craft units, a shop, glassblowing area (currently temporarily closed) and on-site café for visitors to enjoy.

Dudley Museum showcases the borough's rich geological, social and sporting history. Managing tourism is a key area of the service.

The service also has responsibility for overseeing Dudley Market (currently managed by Tudor Markets).


The service includes the statutory local plan function (including the new Dudley Local Plan (see strategies section) which will guide redevelopment and investment in the borough until 2041 as well as Area Action plans (APPs) and Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) to guide development), development management including planning support (providing pre application advice, determining planning applications and defending appeals) , enforcement (providing quality assurance and negotiating resolution of breaches and where this is not achieved taking positive enforcement action to regularise), trees (protected trees (TPOs) and in conservation areas) and highways (advice and consultation responses on development proposals. The Local Planning Authority is one of the top performing authorities in the country.

Building Control, including Contaminated Land, have responsibility for enforcing the provisions of the Building Regulations and Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act, with the teams providing specialist technical knowledge to assist in the redevelopment and regeneration of the borough.

Corporate Landlord Services

Include two main service areas; Facilities Management (including Catering and Cleaning) and Strategic Asset Management. The service was set up to deliver all property and facilities management for Dudley MBC and draws together skills and expertise in property, catering and cleaning for the Council's estate including schools. Our teams care for the majority of the council’s buildings and deliver a wider range of facilities management functions. It is an expert one-stop-shop and retains professional staff trained in all aspects of buildings, catering and cleaning services. Services include day to day building management, and engineering compliance, identification, diagnosis and repair of building defects, advice on project feasibility, cost and delivery of major construction work, nutrition and school meals, cleaning and site security.

Projects and Placemaking

The service includes urban design, landscape, historic environment and regeneration providing support and advice to the Development Management and Policy teams as well as a landscape and urban design service.

Key role in coordination, monitoring and evaluation and project and programme management for a number of existing or emerging bids including Townscape Heritage, Future High Streets Fund (£10m), Heritage Action Zone (£2m), Towns Fund (£25m) and Levelling Up Fund (up to £80m from four bids).

The service area also works extensively with external partners in delivering key projects including the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro Extension and the Dudley Interchange.

Economic Growth and Skills

The service area includes Dudley Business First, Adult and Community Learning, Education, Post 16 skills including apprenticeships and Black Country Impact programmes.

A significant workstream over the last couple for years has been supporting the access of Covid-19 grants and organising both online and physical events to stimulate sales and footfall into the borough’s town and local centres in addition to helping people getting back into work through initiatives such as KickStart. The team also have a support role for Halesowen Business Improvement Districts and are supporting activity in both Dudley TC and Brierley Hill TC to establish business representative groups. Leading the development of a number of boards on economic growth and skills end employment to support the Forging a Future workplans and as well as driving forward positive action on stalled and derelict sites.

About the director, Helen Martin

A Chartered Town Planner by background, Helen has worked for a number of authorities across the West Midlands region in her 28 years in Local Government including authorities in Shropshire, Staffordshire, and Worcestershire.

Helen has worked for Dudley MBC for the last 19 years and in 2017 she took up her current role. She is also the Lead Director for the Black Country Impact Project. Helen also represents DMBC as a Director on the board of the Castle Gate Park Management Company.