£25m West Bromwich Towns Fund projects approved by government – securing £67.5m total for Sandwell
Published 24th June 2022
The three remaining West Bromwich Towns Deal projects were approved by the government this week.
This means that Sandwell Council and its partners have successfully secured the full £67.5million Towns Fund offer for the borough.
In 2020, Rowley Regis, Smethwick and West Bromwich were among 101 places selected by central government to bid for funding in the national Towns Fund initiative. The three bids were submitted for approval to government in October 2020.
Sandwell Council and its partners heard in March 2021 that the three bids had been successful, with Rowley Regis set to receive £19million, Smethwick £23.5million and West Bromwich £25million. However, £67.5million funding was subject to the full project business plans being approved.
There are 16 projects across the three towns: five for Rowley Regis, five for Smethwick and six for West Bromwich.
In February 2022, the government approved three West Bromwich Town Deal projects:
- Digital Den (Greets Green Community Enterprise) – located at Woods Lane Community Centre in West Bromwich, this project is supporting children, adults and older people to get online and improve access to jobs.
- Sandwell Civil and Mechanical Engineering Centre (Sandwell College) – Sandwell MEC will be a new technical campus on West Bromwich High Street, providing opportunities in engineering, advanced manufacturing, civil engineering, construction and hybrid electric vehicles.
- West Bromwich Urban Greening (Sandwell Council) – improving existing green space and the appearance of the town centre, including new trees, parklets, play space and better links to Sandwell Valley, plus a cultural programme.
The regeneration plans for the remaining three West Bromwich projects were submitted to the government on 23 March 2022 and have now been approved:
- Town Hall Quarter (Sandwell Council) – the internal and external restoration and renovation of the Grade II-listed West Bromwich Town Hall and Central Library buildings, including a new entrance from West Bromwich High Street. The investment will transform the Town Hall and Central Library into modern and vibrant facilities, benefitting local people, community groups and third sector organisations.
- Retail Diversification Programme (Sandwell Council) – the delivery of comprehensive regeneration and transformation of West Bromwich town centre. The project includes the relocation and refurbishment of a new indoor market, purchasing and demolition of selected sites to kickstart regeneration opportunities to improve the town’s retail offer, deliver new town centre homes and unlock land for planned regeneration.
- West Bromwich Connected (Sandwell Council) – a phased delivery of schemes identified from the Sandwell Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. The project will create new pedestrian links and cycle routes within and to and from the town centre, encouraging more trips to be taken using active travel infrastructure within West Bromwich, across the wider borough and the region. These will assist in reducing congestion, poor air quality, and other health inequalities.
The six approved West Bromwich Towns Fund projects will deliver:
- 4.5 full-time equivalent jobs
- 90 temporary jobs
- 612 learners enrolled onto courses
- 2 heritage buildings renovated/restored
- 4 new greenspaces forming one linear park
- 33 planted trees
- 11217km of rehabilitated land
- 7,590km of improved floor space
- 2km of new cycle ways
- 2km of new pedestrian paths
- 2km of resurfaced and improved roads.
Councillor Peter Hughes, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth, said: “Sandwell Council has a fantastic track record in working with our partners to attract significant government regeneration investment through area-based initiatives. The £25million secured for West Bromwich from the Towns Fund continues this success.
“The funding will benefit local people and businesses, and reinforce the borough’s strategic advantage as a business location, by improving transport links, boosting learning and training opportunities, and enhancing West Bromwich town centre.”
Jude Thompson, Chair of Towns Fund Superboard, said: “These Towns Fund projects will make a real difference in and around West Bromwich, the aim will be to improve these areas making them a more sociable and welcoming environment for the local community and visitors.
“West Bromwich Town Centre has undergone changes over the last decade and these projects will only continue to improve the experience of visiting the town. The regeneration of historical buildings will help keep the identity of the town preserving it for future generations”.
Chris Hinson, Chair of West Bromwich Local Board, said: ‘It is fantastic news that all six West Bromwich projects have now received full approval.
“This fund offers a real opportunity to begin work towards a new future for West Bromwich and its residents and to create a town centre that encourages all ages to partake in educational, cultural and recreational activities whilst supporting the creation of good quality employment and housing. These projects will provide good foundations for the much needed regeneration of West Bromwich and the surrounding areas”.
About the other Towns Fund bids in Sandwell
Sandwell Council has worked in partnership with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, Canal & River Trust, Greets Green Community Enterprise Centre and Sandwell College (Sandwell’s Towns Fund Partnership) to help secure £67.5 million Towns Fund investment in total for Sandwell. This is the largest amount for any local authority area under the Towns Fund programme.
The government has approved all 16 projects within the Sandwell Towns Fund Programme and project delivery is now under way. As it is a five-year programme, projects will come to life at different points during this period.