£27m Rail Scheme Given Green Light

PLANS for Dudley's £27million very light rail hub are on the right track as council bosses are now considering funding bids and land deals.

The 'world class' research, development and educational centre and test track at Castle Hill is expected to create 225 jobs and make Dudley the 'global focal point for rail innovation'.

Dudley Council’s cabinet is expected to approve a number of major decisions to pave the way for the project when it meets on Thursday (September 21), including a string of funding bids to finance the scheme and a 25 year deal with Network Rail to create a test track and buy up pockets of land.

The council will also kick start the design and construction tendering process to build the project, subject to Warwick Manufacturing Group receiving planning permission.

If approved work will start on a test track in January next year with work starting on the innovation centre, on the site of the old Dudley railway station, by spring. Councillor Kurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for planning and economic development, said:

“This is a landmark decision which will help transform our vision for the future of transport into a reality and show that we are at the forefront of innovation.

"It will also help create jobs for the region which will be a huge boost to Dudley.

“The report to cabinet outlines a number of key issues we need to have in place including land deals, funding and agreements with partners to make sure we deliver a scheme that makes Dudley the world leader when it comes to very light rail innovation.”


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