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Waterfront in jobs race

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The "half empty" Waterfront development next to Dudley's Merry Hill Centre has entered the race to become part of a new Black Country enterprise zone.

The "half empty" Waterfront development next to Dudley's Merry Hill Centre has entered the race to become part of a new Black Country enterprise zone.

It would herald around 3,000 new jobs for the borough, it emerged today. Low – or even free – business rates would be used to tempt newcomers to fill vacant accommodation.

While most enterprise zones in the country will be centred in one location, the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership is proposing an alternative on split sites, so that each of the four boroughs – Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton – get a slice of the job-spinning benefits.

Dudley Council leader, Councillor Les Jones, said the Waterfront area had been earmarked as the focus for the borough's part of the proposed Black Country enterprise zone.

Some of the Waterfront car parks could be redeveloped to pave the way for new offices and industrial units.

No-one from Waterfront owners Westfield was available for comment.

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