Bilston health facility scheme will bring 'major benefits' to town after huge cash boost

A health and wellbeing project backed by £20 million of Government funding will deliver "major benefits" to the town, a council boss has said.

The Bilston Health and Wellbeing Facility concept design
The Bilston Health and Wellbeing Facility concept design

Ian Brookfield, leader of Wolverhampton Council, welcomed the boost for Bilston ­from the Levelling Up fund – announced by the Chancellor in his Budget – to help drive the project forward.

It will be used towards the £33.9m Bilston Health and Regeneration Programme (HaRP) scheme for a health hub, with a boost in line to the town's markets.

Councillor Brookfield said: "I am delighted the quality of our bid submission has been recognised and has now received the full £20 million it deserves.

"The team has worked extremely hard to get to this point and it is a scheme that has been well supported by Pat McFadden MP and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.

"The Bilston Health and Regeneration Programme will deliver major benefits in the town and support the programme of investment already delivered in Bilston by the council and key partners over several years.

"This facility will be located where it can benefit the town the most, right in the centre, making it highly accessible and underpinned by investment in high-quality public realm and connectivity.

"We want our traditional local centres to flourish, and we can now carry out our plans that build substantially on the investment already secured through the Towns Fund for Bilston’s markets."

The new facility will bring together NHS, social care, and wellbeing and leisure sectors with the aim of supporting around 18,000 patients. It will be used to spearhead early intervention and prevention in the town.

It will be located in the centre of the town next to WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams leisure centre. The overall scheme also includes improvement works to the town’s popular markets to build on over £5million of investment already secured through the Towns Fund.

The additional money will enable the full scope of works at the market to be undertaken including boundary improvements, a full package of new signage, a complete renewal of all trader car parks and provision of a new taxi drop-off and bike hub adjacent to the existing bus/metro interchange. Public spaces will also benefit from enhanced landscaping.

A new "pocket park" will be developed between the Black Country Route and Church Street providing a venue that will allow for street food and music, a place to enjoy improved open space, and the option for experiential activities to support wellbeing and mental health and community integration - enhancing the retail core of the town centre.

The remaining funding required for the overall Bilston HaRP will be made up of £5.2million from the Towns Fund, plus council and partner contributions.

A community event is being held at Bilston outdoor market on March 20, between 9am and 2pm, to gain public feedback on shaping the design and services of the health and wellbeing facility ahead of an outline planning application this year.

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