New fly-through reveals vision of Dudley's future

A new fly-through video has been released showing how the face of a key gateway into Dudley town centre will change thanks to a new £25 million university park.

Council bosses have submitted a planning application to demolish the former Dudley Hippodrome building on Castle Hill and replace it with a new higher education centre for health and care.

This new centre will be the next phase of the university park development. It has already seen the creation of a new Institute of Technology - opening in September - and the Very Light Rail Innovation Centre, which is expected to open in May next year. 

The fly-through shows the approach to the new site from Birmingham New Road, with views of Dudley Castle for the first time in decades. It zips past the new building, passing a Midland Metro tram coming the other way, before showing off a bustling new public plaza and coffee shop linking the new facility with the zoo entrance plaza.

The video quickly zooms up to the top of the chairlifts at Dudley Zoo to offer an aerial view of the new facility, before swooping down and inside to offer a sneak peek of the interior.

It will offer state-of-the-art teaching facilities for careers in health - serving 1,500 students per year - as well as providing a community venue for health and wellbeing services in the town. Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:

"This fly-through video offers an exciting glimpse into the future and showcases our plans to breathe new life into one of the key gateways into Dudley town centre.

"It represents a significant phase of our £1 billion regeneration plans and builds on the massive strides we have been able to make with Metro, Very Light Rail and the demolition of Cavendish House in the last couple of years.

"We are forging a bright new future for Dudley town centre, a place where people will be able to live, learn, work, and have fun."

The higher education development has been drawn up by the Towns Fund Board – a partnership between the council, Dudley College of Technology, University of Worcester, tourist attractions and other key organisations in Dudley. The new facility is expected to be up and running by the autumn of 2024.

Dudley College of Technology agreed to work alongside the council to develop the new facility, after building up a degree of expertise through the development of the Dudley Learning Quarter and the creation of the Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology. The teaching and learning that will take place will be driven by the University of Worcester. Neil Thomas, Chief Executive and Principal of Dudley College of Technology, added:

"This marks an exciting time for the borough and is one more piece in the jigsaw of the tremendous regeneration that is taking place. The Dudley bid will help our area recover from the Covid-19 pandemic by increasing higher education opportunities locally.

"By providing training we will be able to lead individuals in to employment, in jobs where the demand for skilled workers out strips the number of people who currently hold the right qualifications for these roles. Roles in health, life-sciences, care and medical sectors."

Dudley was one of 100 areas across the country invited to bid for a slice of the £178.7 million Towns Fund. For more information on the projects, you can visit


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