Work on town projects worth a total of £2.25 million are getting under way in Sandwell this month (January) following a successful bid for funding. Sandwell Council secured the money from the Government’s Accelerated Towns Fund programme.
The money will fund a range of initiatives including:
- schemes to boost cycling and walking in Blackheath, Oldbury, Smethwick and West Bromwich
- investment in greenspace projects and facilities at Bearmore Open Space, Warrens Hall Nature Reserve and Haden Hill Park in Cradley Heath; and Tividale Park
- improvements to West Bromwich’s outdoor market
The Government had invited Sandwell to apply for the funding for three specific town areas – Rowley Regis (to include parts of Oldbury), Smethwick and West Bromwich. Each of the three areas has received £750,000 under the Accelerated Towns Fund. This is in addition to the wider Towns Fund investment programme in which the Government has selected Rowley Regis, Smethwick and West Bromwich to bid for up to £25 million each for regeneration projects.
Deputy council leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: “It’s fantastic to have secured £2.25 million from the Accelerated Towns Fund and to be starting work on projects this month.
“We’ve also now submitted town investment plans worth a total of £75 million under the wider Towns Fund programme and we look forward to hearing the outcome of those bids this year.”
Councillor Danny Millard, cabinet member for skills and employment, said: “The accelerated funding projects are really quite varied, but they all have one thing in common. They will make a real difference to our communities – whether that’s promoting cycling and walking opportunities, improving our parks or supporting market traders.”
Councillor Jackie Taylor, cabinet member for sustainable transport, said: “We are committed to boosting cycling and walking in Sandwell. These cycling and walking schemes will provide more opportunities for people to exercise while also helping to reduce traffic congestion in our towns and improve air quality.”
Jude Thompson, independent chair of the Superboard set up to develop Towns Fund bids for Sandwell, said: “As we start a new year, it’s very exciting to see these first projects getting under way. They will provide people with the first glimpse of the kind of improvements the Towns Fund can make to their communities.
“We have worked with local people, businesses and partner organisations on developing our Towns Fund plans.”
More details on individual projects is available at www.sandwell.gov.uk/townsfund