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Green light poised for Dudley archway

Dudley | News | Published:

Plans to create a new feature archway to welcome visitors as part of the £6.7m redevelopment of a historic marketplace are poised to be given the go-ahead tonight.

The Green Man archway will be created at a passageway off Castle Street in Dudley town centre.

It will feature The Green Man mask and include the words 'Green Man Entry'. The passageway, which dates back to medieval times, now links the town centre to Dudley College's Evolve campus. Designs for the archway will go before councillors at a meeting tonight and have been recommended for approval by planning officers.

It comes after work got under way on the first phase of the regeneration project, which will cover Castle Street from the Earl of Dudley statue to the junction of New Street, last week.

The planning application, which will be considered by councillors, says the passageway had been used by more people since the opening of Dudley Evolve in September last year.

It says the installation of signs will provide a 'clearly defined' route for visitors and shoppers to the town centre.

Officers also say the scheme will help to enhance the conservation area.

When the Green Man proposals were first announced, regeneration boss Councillor Judy Foster said it would provide a 'stunning' entrance into the market place and 'set the tone' for the restored historic town centre.

The first phase of work includes the laying of new stonework, which will also be incorporated in the marketplace later in the development, and work will be completed at the end of May. Contractors will then move onto phase two, which is the market place itself. This phase of the project will start in May as the Castle Street works come to an end. The new-look market will have 74 stalls, new paving and feature lighting.

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The first phase of work will see 42 new market stalls set up, while 29 current ones would stay and a collection of 25 stalls would be temporarily sited on the other side of the fountain.

During stage two, work to replace the remaining 29 stalls would commence.

The project will also involve the relocation of the public toilets to allow the repositioning of the Duncan Edwards statue. New toilets will be provided in a shop unit in 256 Castle Street.

The historic fountain will also be fully restored and The Earl of Dudley statue will be reset within a raised lawn.

The whole project is expected to be complete by early 2015.

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