Plans for new £20 million college campus in Halesowen branded 'exciting'

Plans for a new £20 million college campus in Dudley borough potentially funded through Government cash has been hailed by leaders as "exciting".

Councillor Simon Phipps with Vicky Rogers from Halesowen BID.
Councillor Simon Phipps with Vicky Rogers from Halesowen BID.

Dudley Council is aiming to secure the cash from the Levelling Up Fund – now in its second round – for Halesowen, to provide a major boost to the town.

It comes after Dudley Council and neighbouring Sandwell and Walsall were criticised last week after it was revealed only Wolverhampton Council had bid for levelling up cash in the first round of funding.

But Dudley is now lining up its bids in the second round and if backed, the money would see the Pool Road multi-storey car park torn down and a new state-of-the-art college campus built in its place.

A brand new accessible entrance to Cornbow Hall will be delivered under the plans and replacement parking nearby in the town centre.

Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: "Halesowen continues to flourish because the passion and hard work of people who live and work there. This project builds on that growth and will bring new people into the town.

"It will ease any pressure on the existing campus, provide first class facilities for students, boost trade in the town and much more. These are exciting times for Halesowen."

The plan is expected to bring hundreds of students into the town centre which will boost the area’s growth, according to Halesowen Business Improvement District (BID).

Vicky Rogers, Halesowen BID manager, said: "This is such an exciting project and we are working closely with the council to ensure it is right for the businesses, residents and shoppers in Halesowen.

"Bringing new people into the town and making it easier for people to get to Halesowen via alternative forms of travel will be good for the businesses but also help us to grow further.

"It is essential we get the details on car parking right too, but the future looks very bright for Halesowen."

The council has been working with key partners in the scheme including Halesowen College, James Morris MP and Halesowen BID, with 75 new parking spaces being earmarked for Andrew Road.

Cycle lanes on the Queensway will be improved alongside other links to the town centre, while there are also plans for more car parking outside Halesowen Leisure Centre.

The bid will be submitted in July, with successful projects announced in the autumn. In Lye, there are plans for changes to the road network including making the bypass two-way to traffic.

The Levelling Up Fund permits one bid of up to £20m for each of the borough's four parliamentary constituencies – Halesowen, Stourbridge, Dudley North and Dudley South.

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