Public consultation launches in a bid to improve central part of Dudley

A public consultation has been launched looking at ways of improving a central part of Dudley.

Dudley Zoo
Dudley Zoo

Dudley Council is looking at three projects to regenerate the Castle Hill area but is first seeking the thoughts of residents.

The projects are to develop Dudley Zoo & Castle, build a new university centre, and improve open spaces and footpaths between Castle Hill and Dudley town centre.

People are being asked to take part in a questionnaire, which can be found at www.regeneratingdudley.org.uk/castlehillconsultation.

Under the plans, council bosses are looking to redevelop four buildings at Dudley Zoo for other uses.

These are the Discovery Centre, Elephant House, Queen Mary Ballroom and the Tropical Bird House.

The proposals would see: Discovery Centre turned into a catering facility; Elephant House turned into an enclosure for primates; Queen Mary Ballroom's function as a restaurant extended to have an outside dining area; and turn the Tropical Bird House, which is currently off limits in the lion enclosure, into an education facility.

Each of the buildings are known as Tecton structures as they were built by The Tecton Group, a radical architecture firm, between 1935 and 1937.

It comes after the Castle Hill-based attraction was awarded £120,000 from the Getty Foundation, which is a Los Angeles-based organisation that awards grants for the preservation of arts.

Regarding plans for a new university centre, the Dudley Town Funds Board - which is part of the council - is seeking funding from Government and regional sources to develop such a facility.

This will help to equip people with new skills, create new jobs and boost the local economy, council bosses say.

And to improve open spaces and footpaths, the council is looking to regenerate what it calls the"physical link" between Castle Hill and Dudley town centre.

It is hoped this will help to increase footfall into the town.

This follows £1 million funding received from the Government's Town Fund.

Dudley Council said the consultation will help to sculpt the future face of Dudley.

The closing date for the consultation will be December 16 at 5pm.

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