Brierley Hill in line to receive millions to revive High Street

190825 - (L-R) Community Campaigner Adam Davies, Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick MP, Mike Wood MP, Cllr Patrick Harley.jpg

Showcasing Brierley Hill's potential to the Secretary of State (second from the left) with Community Campaigner Adam Davies (left) and Cllr Patrick Harley (right)

Brierley Hill is one step closer to landing millions of pounds from a national £1 billion pot to breath new life into its ailing high street.

The town has been shortlisted as one of 50 places across the country to receive cash to develop plans to revitalise its shops, housing and infrastructure, as part of the government's Future High Streets Fund.

Following some persistent lobbying from Mike Wood, the government will now give the town £150,000 of revenue funding for council chiefs to develop a detailed business case to renew its high street, and, if the bid is successful, the town will receive up to £25 million in capital funding in Spring 2020 to invest in infrastructure, housing and work spaces.

Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of Communities, paid a visit to Brierley Hill on Bank Holiday Monday (August 26), where he was joined by Mike Wood MP and Leader of Dudley Council, Councillor Patrick Harley to unveil the shortlist.

Celebrating the news, Dudley South MP, Mike Wood, said: “This is absolutely brilliant news and a much-needed initiative that gives us a chance to inject a new breath of life into Brierley Hill High Street.

“Brierley Hill has a proud heritage, and whilst it faces significant challenges, it has fantastic potential for a vibrant and thriving future if we can transform the town centre into an area where people want to come, to shop, to live and to socialise.

“Investment from the Future High Streets Fund would let us deliver those changes - and build on the quarter-of-a-billion-pound government investment in the tram extension, the DY5 Enterprise Zone and the new Resonance music institute at the Waterfront - to delivering lasting change for the local community.

“I look forward to working with Dudley Council and expert advisors to help develop a detailed business case that will be submitted to the Government after Christmas.”

Mr Jenrick MP praised Dudley Council chiefs for their 'ambitious' plans for the town, following the council earlier this year submitting a bid for up to £16 million from the fund to encourage more housing on the High Street, improve older heritage buildings, enhance transport infrastructure and to work with the private sector to encourage more investment into the town.

Mr Jenrick said: "Town centres and high streets are at the heart of local communities. As consumer habits change we know that some are facing challenging times. Our plan to help the high street evolve and thrive involves investing £1 billion in transformative infrastructure, town centre housing, workspaces and culture - as well as cutting business rates for most smaller shops and businesses.

"Dudley has presented an ambitious vision to connect people and deliver great housing. This government is investing to ensure our towns and cities succeed and prosperity and opportunities are shared across the country."

“This is absolutely brilliant news and a much-needed initiative that gives us a chance inject a new breath of life into Brierley Hill High Street.

“Brierley Hill has a proud heritage, and whilst it faces significant challenges, it has fantastic potential for a vibrant and thriving future if we can transform the town centre into an area where people want to come, to shop, to live and to socialise.

“Investment from the Future High Streets Fund would let us deliver those changes - and build on the quarter-of-a-billion-pound government investment in the tram extension, the DY5 Enterprise Zone and the new Resonance music institute at the Waterfront - to delivering lasting change for the local community.”