Type=image;ImageID=4822;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Mark Blackstock from the Civic Halls and Councillor Elias Mattu;TitleClass=strong;
Major refurbishment of the Civic Hall, a contribution towards a the development of new railway station, 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 £18 million 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 4 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 for 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 £55.6 million from the Growth Deal to support projects across the region from 2015/16.
In Wolverhampton, these projects include:
- Wolverhampton Interchange - £4.5 million funding towards the £91 million 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 - £6.2 million funding (alongside £3.5 million 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 - £3.3 million funding towards the £176 million 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 - £2.8 million funding towards the £10 million 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 £29.7 million 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 £15 million Access to Finance pot while the £18 million Accessing Growth programme will fund transport infrastructure work to support housing and commercial schemes.
Councillor Peter Bilson, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Prosperity, said: "We are delighted to receive this funding which provides extra confidence in the schemes we are developing.
"We have already secured money from the Local Transport Board for the Interchange so this award gives further confidence in terms of our funding package and will help galvanise other investors. Discussions are ongoing with other partners and we remain committed to this vital redevelopment.
"Likewise, the funding for Bilston Urban Village will mean another piece of the jigsaw can be completed for this hugely important project that will revitalise the area."
Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "The Civic Hall and Grand Theatre are much loved and well known venues so this announcement that will enhance them further is extremely good news.
"The refurbishment of the Civic Halls and its facilities will open up further opportunities for hosting conferences and putting on bigger and more diverse shows.
"Overall, we estimate the improved facilities will attract an extra half a million visitors to the city centre each year, resulting in the creation of more jobs in the local economy."
- released: Monday 7 July, 2014