Regen chief welcomes plan to revitalise borough High Street
Plans to breathe new life into Dudley High Street have been welcomed by Dudley Council’s regen chief.
The West Midlands Combined Authority has today unveiled plans to transform and revitalise town centres across the West Midlands.
The pioneering project will see the WMCA work with local councils as it targets five town centres, including an area of Dudley High Street from Wolverhampton Street to Top Church.
High streets across the country have suffered as consumers have switched to online shopping and out of town retailing.
The new town centre programme was agreed by the WMCA Housing and Land Delivery Board and will unlock new funding, expertise and support from the WMCA and other partners and be delivered by councils.
Councillor Keiran Casey, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:
We were asked to put forward areas of the borough that could benefit from this project and we’re really pleased that Dudley has been chosen. As an authority, we believe in Dudley town centre and its future success and have our own ambitious plans to attract investment and boost regeneration in the town and beyond.
This project will complement what we want to do and focus on an area of the town where regeneration is needed. It will also allow us to develop ideas and plans around what more could be offered in terms of a mixture of shops, residential, leisure and more public open spaces for people to enjoy.
So we are going to be working closely with the combined authority to look at how we can breathe new life into this part of the town, which will be known as St Thomas Quarter.”
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said:
The future of the high street will not only be about shops, it will be about public services, homes, small businesses and community activities. There are many opportunities for our high streets. We must find a positive future for them which embraces technological change. The future of our communities depends upon it.
Today is just the start. We want to be the region that leads the way nationally in reimagining the role and function of town centres in the digital age. And with a very bold housing and regeneration ambition, strong leadership and as the home of 5G we are well placed to do so."
The other four towns are Bilston, Bordesley Green in Birmingham, St Matthews Quarter in Walsall and West Bromwich.
Notes to editors
- The programme is tailored to the needs of each individual centre
- Further town centres will be eligible for a second wave of support next year, building on the experience from the first wave of centres
- A Regional Task Force is also being created to bring together experts from retail, finance, housing, universities and Government to share their knowledge and lend support to the programme
- The support for town centres is part of the WMCA’s wider commitment to focus regeneration efforts and housing delivery on existing urban areas and brownfield land