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Legal restrictions to be removed to pave the way for education plan

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Legal restrictions look set to be removed on two sites in Dudley to pave the way for a £25million higher education facility.

Dudley Council bosses have signed a formal document to remove the legal restriction on the dilapidated former Hippodrome and old Plaza Cinema.

The restrictions currently in place mean both plots of land can only be used as entertainment venues, retail or housing.

But the council plans to demolish both buildings to make way for a university centre with the help of a £25 million grant from the Government’s Towns Fund. Worcester University will run a nursing college from the site that includes the former JB’s nightclub and martial arts centre.

Once the legal restrictions are removed, it is step forward for the programme on the Castle Hill site.

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

These buildings are key to our plans to create a world-class higher education facility on that site which will create jobs and training opportunities. The latest decision will allow us to press ahead at pace and add to the rolling £1billlion worth of regeneration activity we have in the borough.

Two decision sheets have been signed by council bosses which will pave the way for the restrictions to be removed.

The project, which is a partnership between the council, Dudley College of Technology, University of Worcester has been overseen by the Dudley Towns Fund Board.

The higher education facility will include a university facility and will provide university-level courses for the health sector.

The facility will form part of a £1billion package of regeneration projects in Dudley including the Midland Metro extension, very light rail innovation centre and new Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre.

For more information on the projects visit www.regeneratingdudley.org.uk

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