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Regen plans “will continue at pace”

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The regeneration of town centres in the borough will “continue at pace” as plans for multi-million pound heritage projects move a step closer.

A report will go to cabinet next week outlining how the council will progress the projects being delivered through the Brierley Hill Heritage Action Zone and Dudley Townscape Heritage programme.

The Brierley Hill scheme is funded by Historic England and the Dudley Townscape Heritage programme funded through the National Lottery’s Heritage Fund.

Both schemes are designed to help conserve the historic environment within the towns, while giving an overall boost to the borough’s regeneration.

In Brierley Hill, Historic England has awarded £1.8million to make improvements to the public realm and properties along the High Street by investing in repairs, reinstatement of architectural details and bringing vacant floor space back into use.

The money will also be used to help engage the local communities through heritage, art and cultural projects and play a key role in the economic and social recovery of the town centre and borough.

In Dudley, the second phase of the townscape heritage programme continues with £1.7million funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and £300,000 funding from the council. The programme focuses on improving buildings within the town’s historic core. Recent improvements include the renovation of the former Merlin’s bar along Wolverhampton Street.

At its meeting next Thursday October 29, cabinet will be asked to give permission to the council’s director of regeneration and enterprise to prepare criteria, conduct negotiations and issue grants regarding these projects in consultation with the cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise.

Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:

The regeneration of our town centres must continue at pace. I welcome the report to cabinet, which irons out the processes involved in making sure both projects can progress.
In Dudley, we’ve already seen the improvements brought about through the townscape heritage programme and I look forward to seeing it progress alongside the other fantastic regeneration projects happening in the town.
In Brierley Hill, the money from Historic England will be used to breathe new life into the town and make improvements to buildings and the environment, which will benefit generations to come.

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