Funding bid submitted to kick start major regeneration project

Blueprints to refurbish a landmark former Dudley wine bar as part of a £655,000 project have taken a major step forward after a bid for funding was submitted.

Dudley Council has handed in a £249,000 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to help finance the scheme at the former Merlin’s bar in Wolverhampton Street, Dudley.

The council has already committed £260,000 from the sale of properties owned by the authority, with a further £145,000 coming from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership.

The former bar has been classified as a heritage asset but has stood empty for 20 years. The aim of the scheme is to renovate the site to eventually bring it back into use as part of the wider regeneration proposals in the town. Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for planning and economic development, said:

“This is an important site and we are very keen to get it back in use. The refurbishment work will help revitalise an important area of Dudley. We are optimistic the Heritage Lottery Fund bid will be successful to kick start this refurbishment work.

“It also adds to the wider improvement work in the town which is gathering pace and will redefine the town for a generation.”

The building is seen as a key location by the council in the heart of Dudley Town Centre Conservation Area. It has already been classified as a heritage asset and once the refurbishment work is complete the building will be used by a recruitment company.

Council bosses expect a decision on the bid later this month.


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