Express & Star

See the full list improvements planned for Wednesbury town centre in £4.5m makeover

A revamped public square will be the centrepiece of a £4.5 million makeover planned for a town centre.


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It is hoped the revamp for Wednesbury, which is home to dozens of empty and eyesore buildings, would boost visitors and attract investment.

Sandwell Council has drawn up new plans on how to spend £20m given to the borough in government ‘levelling up’ money last year.

A revamped square, dubbed Ethelfleda Square, would be built between Wednesbury Bus Station and Union Street, and the improvements to the town centre include new paving, seating and more trees and bins.

The council also plans to improve street lighting in Great Western Street, Union Street, Victoria Street, outside Morrisons, and outside the Museum and Art Gallery in Holyhead Road.

An artist's impression of the new 'Ethelfleda Square' in Wednesbury town centre. Pic: Sandwell Council.

The plans so far include:

  • Wednesbury Great Western Street Metro stop – improve the appearance of the entrance to this space with new seating, tree planting and signs

  • Victoria Street – improve street lighting

  • Victoria Street/ Holyhead Road Junction – reduce planting to improve maintenance and views to and from the town centre

  • Union Street – repave, increase planting, provide new seating, lighting and improve drainage

  • Hitchen’s Croft, Church Hill and Spring Head – improve lighting

  • Upper High Street/ High Bullen – close pedestrian link

The council has been designing a ‘masterplan’ for Wednesbury – a document it says will include a ‘vision’ for the town centre with ‘realistic and deliverable’ improvements.

The final designs are set to be made public following next month’s local elections with residents again invited to have their say.

The council asked residents for views on ‘draft’ plans earlier this year – and while some were supportive, many of the responses continued to highlight ongoing problems in Wednesbury town centre.

Respondents to the survey raised issues with Wednesbury’s appearance – pointing to many of the town centre’s empty and poorly maintained buildings as well as the abundance of takeaways, hairdressers and nail bars.

Residents also highlighted problems with drug dealing and drug use, anti-social behaviour and drunk and disorderly behaviour – particularly in the evenings.

The current Union Street square in Wednesbury. Pic: Google Maps.

The respondents also called for children’s play and event spaces and family-friendly attractions as well as new public toilets.

The decision to move Wednesbury’s market from Union Street to Market Place also faced criticism from respondents to the survey – with many saying the relocation had "not taken off well".

The council said its public realm improvements are already set to cost £250,000 more than the £2m set aside and wants to use some of the £2.5m set aside to improve eyesore buildings.

The improvements to the town centre are just one part of a handful of ‘levelling up’ projects in Wednesbury that will be funded by more than £20m handed to Sandwell Council by the government last year.

The other projects include the Friar Park Urban Village, which includes 600 new homes, the expansion of the nearby community hub Millenium Centre, new safety and security measures including new CCTV, and improvements to Wednesbury’s green spaces – with Hydes Road Playing Fields, Balls Hill Open Space, Wyntor Lane Open Space, Lakeside and Norbury Road Open Space all lined up for an upgrade.

The Wednesbury Levelling Up Partnership Board meets on April 18 to discuss the proposals. The meeting is not open to the public.