Minister looking forward to 'successful result' over Wolverhampton's £48 million bid for regeneration funding

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick says he is looking forward to a "successful result" over Wolverhampton's £48 million bid for regeneration funding.

Cabinet Minister Robert Jenrick launched the Towns Fund in Wolverhampton earlier this year
Cabinet Minister Robert Jenrick launched the Towns Fund in Wolverhampton earlier this year

The city council has bid for the cash from the Towns Fund, which Ministers launched to boost investment in 101 parts of the country.

A raft of bids were approved last month, but Wolverhampton Council is still waiting to hear whether its bid for the maximum amount of funding has been successful.

However, Mr Jenrick, who was born in Wolverhampton, gave the strongest hint yet on the status of the bid when speaking in the Commons this week.

He said: I've spoken to the Labour leader of Wolverhampton Council a number of times over the course of the last year.

"I think that he and his fellow councillors of all party persuasions support the Towns Fund, have put in some very strong proposals and I look forward to a successful result in due course."

The flagship fund was recently placed under the microscope by the cross-party Commons Public Accounts Committee, which raised concerns that distribution of the cash may have been politically biased.

Mr Jenrick has rubbished the claims, saying that a "fair and robust procedure" was used to determine recipients.

He was responding to a question from Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson, who said the city was "anxiously awaiting the result of our bid".

Jane Stevenson MP speaking in the Commons

She also asked for reassurances that funding allocated to Wednesfield would be "ringfenced and won't be spent in other elements of the Towns Fund bid".

In September a first wave of funding of £5.5m was announced for Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall, Bloxwich, Rowley Regis and West Bromwich.

Telford was given £1m to create enterprise hubs, regenerate units in Oakengates and Wellington, and for continued investment in the Telford Town Centre's Station Quarter.

Wolverhampton has earmarked a series of projects for funding. They include £10m for the City Learning Quarter, £2.6m for the National Brownfield Institute, and £1m for jobs scheme Wolves at Work.

Other projects include a £3m boost to the Grand Theatre's expansion, as well as £7.5m for Bilston market and £4m to revamp Wednesfield.

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