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WMCA pumps in nearly £20m to revive town centres

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has approved nearly £20 million of funding to help accelerate local authority plans to revitalise town centres.

The funding will be used to unlock land to regenerate five town centres across the West Midlands and breathe new life into high streets that have suffered economically in recent years.

The five town centres in Bilston, St Thomas Quarter in Dudley, Bordesley Green in Birmingham, St Matthew’s Quarter in Walsall and West Bromwich (East) were nominated by their local councils, and will be supported by the council’s own plans for regeneration.

More town centres will be eligible for a second wave of support later in the year, building on the experience from the initial five centres.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “This money will allow us to buy derelict buildings and land on high streets to turn into housing, new offices or shops, and other leisure uses. I know from my days at John Lewis that a town centre needs more than shopping to be successful.”

Additionally, a regional task force will be created to bring together experts from retail, finance, housing, universities and government to share their knowledge and lend support to the programme.

Image credit | Alamy