Today it’s been announced that Wolverhampton is to receive millions of pounds to help transform the city and boost economic growth.
A new railway station, major refurbishment of the Civic Hall, support for the Bilston Urban Village programme and the creation of a new science centre are among the schemes to receive Government funding secured by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – of which the city council is a member.
Wolverhampton has received more than £18m for projects aimed at enhancing the city centre, creating new jobs and safeguarding existing ones and attracting inward investment.
Wolverhampton City Council leader Councillor Roger Lawrence, who is a member of the LEP board, said: “This is great news for the city and the whole of the region. It is an excellent example of collaborative working by the four Black Country councils and the LEP.
“We produced one of the best bids in the country and we have been recognised for the strength of the schemes that this funding will support.
“These programmes will provide huge benefits to the local economy and help us achieve our collective aim of increasing prosperity and providing opportunities for people and businesses across the Black Country.”
The LEP, made up of local authorities and businesses across the Black Country, successfully submitted a bid for £55.6m from the Growth Deal to support projects across the region from 2015/16.
In Wolverhampton, these projects include:
- Wolverhampton Interchange – £4.5m funding towards the £91m Interchange scheme including the construction of a new railway station, refurbishment of the multi-storey car park and a new office and retail block to complement the new bus station and improve a main gateway into the city.
- Civic Halls and Grand Theatre Improvement Programme – £6.2m funding (alongside £3.5m investment from Wolverhampton City Council) to transform the Civic and Wulfrun Halls by increasing capacity, improved conference and hospitality facilities and modernised staging and new facilities. The Grand Theatre will receive £400,000 for improvements.
- Bilston Urban Village – £3.3m funding towards the £176million commercial and residential housing scheme between Wolverhampton City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency. This money will fund improvements to Bankfield Road, further infrastructure works and provide a new bus link.
- Science, Technology and Prototype Centre – £2.8m funding towards the £10m University of Wolverhampton centre to be based at Wolverhampton Science Park. The centre will provide laboratory testing space and offices for research and development.
Other Black Country-wide schemes to receive Growth Deal money that will benefit Wolverhampton include the £29.7m M6 Junction 10 improvement project aimed at reducing congestion by building wider bridges over the motorway.
Businesses will also be able to apply for grants for plant, machinery and property through the £15m Access to Finance pot while the £18m Accessing Growth programme will fund transport infrastructure work to support housing and commercial schemes.