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Investment zone plans for the borough

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Plans for an ‘investment zone’ in Dudley to complement the Midland Metro link will make the borough a “number one destination” for businesses, council bosses said today.

Dudley Council is one of a number of local authorities formally submitting a bid to government through the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The zones aim to encourage businesses to set up by lowering taxes, accelerating housing developments and giving greater control over funding.

Dudley Council chiefs have announced their intention to create an investment zone along the planned Midland Metro extension through Dudley to Brierley Hill.

If given the go-ahead by the government, a string of potential sites have been identified for residential, commercial and mixed use in Dudley, Coseley, Brierley Hill and Lye. Site details are still being finalised and would be subject to agreement from West Midlands Combined Authority and the government.

The council hopes the sites will encourage businesses and development in the borough, taking advantage of the metro route links. The zone will offer business rate relief as well as other national tax benefits such as Stamp Duty and allow the council to tap into funding.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:

We very much welcome the opportunity to invest in four important areas in Dudley along the new Midland Metro extension to Brierley Hill. It will enable businesses investing in the zones to benefit financially through lower taxes, as well as accelerating development and helping to bring forward a mix of commercial and residential developments in these key areas and make the most of this important transport link.

Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:

This is a fantastic opportunity to build on the successes we are already seeing across Dudley borough as part of our £1billion programme of regeneration. The Metro link will revolutionise how people commute in and around the borough and so it makes perfect sense to tap into this potential with the investment zone.

With the financial and developmental opportunities the zone will offer Dudley will become the number one destination for businesses and developers.

There are a number of planned investment zones across the region, with West Midlands Combined Authority leading on the bid to government.

The bid highlights the private and public investment opportunities to tackle depravation, fuel poverty, jobs, skills and health. The zones will aim to make it easier, quicker and cheaper for the private sector to do business, helping to attract significant inward investment.

The government is expected to make a decision on the bid in the coming weeks.

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