A £10.1million masterplan to link Dudley’s biggest tourist attractions and create a new 600-space car park has been unveiled.
The redevelopment project in Castle Hill will create a single point of access for Dudley Zoo, the Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Canal Trust.
Detailed plans for the latest phase of work aimed at boosting visiting numbers and bringing in millions of pounds in extra revenue have been submitted and regeneration bosses today released the first images showing how a new visitor entrance at Dudley Zoo will look if the proposals are approved.
It will be built at the back of the existing car park behind JB’s and Dudley Hippodrome in Castle Hill.
The images show an attractive piazza with animal sculptures and seating as well as the familiar Dudley Zoo logo signs.
The work follows completion of the new access road off Tipton Road, which is next to the new archive centre.
The project will see a secondary road being built to link the access road to the visitor reception for Dudley Zoo, which will primarily be used by coaches to drop off and collect day visitors.
A newly-created piazza at the entrance of the zoo and new visitor facilities, will act as an arrival point to the attraction as well as being open to the general public.
New entrances will also be created off the access road for the Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Canal Trust.
Dudley Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, Councillor Shaukat Ali said today: “Subject to the planning application being approved a raft of positive and long term changes will bring the attractions together for the first time, creating a real sense of arrival for the area which in turn will open up a host of other development opportunities.”
Peter Suddock, chief executive at Dudley Zoo, added:”We are pleased to see continued progress of the Castle Hill programme.”
A 12-week consultation was getting under way today. Cash for the project has come from Dudley Council, Dudley Zoo the Black Country Living Museum and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The project was also awarded a £4.5m grant from the European Regional Development Fund.
The announcement follows plans for a new visitor centre at Dudley Canal Trust being approved by councillors at a meeting last night.
Called the Portal, the £3m building will provide families with an insight into the Black Country’s canal heritage.