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Leader urges “courage and ambition” to invest and build

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The leader of Dudley Council today said he will do all he can to “invest and build” despite the national financial uncertainty, as the authority sets its budgets for the year ahead.

Councillor Patrick Harley said important projects like leisure centres, Midland Metro, very light rail and university park in Dudley were taking shape as part of a £1billion plan.

He also vowed to press ahead with the refurbishment of the Halesowen leisure centre and wet change and pool improvements at Crystal leisure centre in the new year, as the new build Dudley leisure centre is well underway. All facilities will be reopen for the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.

The top council boss said the authority must show “courage and ambition” if it is to battle through economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:

Now is not the time to retreat into our shell, we must press on with the significant progress we have been able to make despite the pandemic.
With a £1 billion package of regeneration in the pipeline we firmly believe it’s our time in Dudley and we now have to show courage and ambition and forge ahead with our exciting plans to rebuild the borough and give the residents and businesses the services and communities they deserve.
We are setting a budget that acknowledges the challenging period we find ourselves to ensure we are in a position to support our most vulnerable people and businesses but does not shy away from investing in key regeneration projects across the borough.

Work is well underway on the new £18million Dudley leisure centre which is expected to be open early 2022.  The refurbishment of Halesowen and improvements at Crystal is set to start in February next year.

The first sections of track have been set down as part of the very light rail project with testing scheduled to start in the spring next year.

Initial work has started on the Midland Metro line which will link Wednesbury to Brierley Hill via Dudley.

A major bid is being developed to complete a university park as part of the Government’s Towns Fund which will revolutionise education in Dudley in partnership with Dudley College.

This year’s budget includes investment proposals in a number of areas.

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