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Council boss: We will help protect “jewels in the crown”

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The leader of Dudley Council has pledged to support the borough’s top tourist attractions and help them fight back following the coronavirus crisis.

Dudley Zoo is set to re-open its doors to 300 pre-booked visitors on Monday. The Black Country Living Museum is set to re-open on August 1, while Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust is currently hoping to re-open the tunnels to visitors from July 4.

Dudley Council currently provides £150,000 each year to Dudley Zoo, whilst it is also a £9 million guarantor towards BCLM’s Forging Ahead project.

The local authority is also putting up nearly £1 million as part of a joint project with the other three Black Country authorities to make waterways and green spaces more attractive for visitors, with focus around Castle Hill and Peggy’s Meadow.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:

Our tourist attractions are the envy of the region and must be looked after and supported. They are real jewels in the crown for Dudley borough.
It’s been well publicised that it has been a tough time for the likes of the zoo and the museum, both of which were forced to close as a result of the pandemic and have lost a lot of money as a result.
I am delighted to see the zoo is re-opening and I look forward to the museum and other attractions following suit as soon as it is safe to do so.
Nevertheless it will remain a tough journey for them, and as a council we will do all we can to support and help them get back on their feet again.

Dudley Zoo, Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust welcome well over one million visitors to the borough every year.

The visitor economy in total contributes £528 million to the borough across sectors of the tourism economy, welcoming 6.8 million trips, with just over 10,000 tourism jobs supporting local residents and those living nearby.

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