Bosses sign off on £1.8 billion Sandwell regeneration plans

Council chiefs have signed off on plans that could see up to £1.8 billion ploughed into Sandwell over the next five years.

Artist's impressions; top row, left to right: Midland Met Learning Campus, and Rowley Regis Education Hub; bottom row, left to right: Sandwell Civil and Mechanical Engineering Centre, and Wednesbury town centre. Images: Sandwell Council.
Artist's impressions; top row, left to right: Midland Met Learning Campus, and Rowley Regis Education Hub; bottom row, left to right: Sandwell Civil and Mechanical Engineering Centre, and Wednesbury town centre. Images: Sandwell Council.

The Labour-run authority's ruling cabinet has approved a series of regeneration policies as part of a recovery plan to help the borough bounce back after the pandemic.

They include 4,300 new homes, £57m invested in education facilities, 23 new transport projects and £63m for employment floorspace to create and safeguard jobs.

The plans also include delivery of the Government's £67.5m towns fund projects in West Bromwich, Smethwick and Rowley Regis.

Councillor Iqbal Padda, cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: "Sandwell Council’s regeneration policies – which we are working on closely with a range of partners, businesses and the local community – will set priorities that are right for the borough, scope opportunities, recognise local constraints and help to create the environment for inclusive growth.

"They will ensure that our workforce and young people are skilled and talented, geared up to respond to changing business needs and to win rewarding jobs in a growing economy, delivering on our vision of a healthier, wealthier and more sustainable Sandwell across all six towns."

The council has announced 16 projects for the towns fund cash, with parts of Oldbury also set to benefit from the £19m allocated to Rowley Regis.

So far three schemes have been approved by the Government, including a digital den at Woods Lane Community Centre in West Bromwich, and Sandwell College's Civil and Mechanical Engineering Centre, a new technical campus on West Bromwich High Street.

Other projects submitted for approval are the expansion of the Ron Davis Centre in Smethwick and the Blackheath Bus Interchange.

Jude Thompson, chair of towns fund superboard, said: "These projects will make a difference to so many local people’s lives and can only be a good thing for our local communities."

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