Row over site for new college in Dudley

Plans to move the site for a new college in Dudley have been slammed as doing regeneration ‘on the hoof’.

Dudley Council announced a deal last year with Star Academies Trust to build a sixth-form facility which will be part of Eton College in the town.

Land on Castle Street had been earmarked for the college but after the council discovered it would cost up to £4m to clear the site new plans were drawn to locate the campus on Stafford Street. Dudley’s Labour opposition finance spokesperson, Cllr Shaukat Ali, said:

“It is regeneration on the hoof, Dudley Council doesn’t know what it is doing – or Star Academies doesn’t. They are plucking things out of thin air.”

Under the terms of the deal Dudley would provide the land and Star Academies would use a government grant to build a free 240-student college, called Eton Star Dudley, for young people on pupil premium or from deprived areas.

The college would offer teaching and extra activities that are available to pupils at Britain’s poshest school, whose old boys include Prince William and former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and David Cameron.

Cllr Ali believes the Cavendish House site in Dudley is a better option and is calling on the council to arrange a meeting with Star Academies to discuss its suitability. Dudley’s Conservative leader, Cllr Patrick Harley, said:

“Cllr Ali should have a career as a stand-up comedian, for Cavendish House all the reports say it is suitable for a residential development with a food and beverage offering. It is not suitable for Eton because of its topography.

“Eton is not interested, when people are spending their money it is not for us to dictate where they go. Stafford Street is massively under-utilised, Eton is going to happen and it is a win-win for the borough.”

Star Academies aims to open three sixth-form colleges including the Dudley campus with others in Middlesbrough and Oldham.

The government is keen to see all three colleges open at the same time in September 2027.


Add a comment

Rating *

Recently Played


  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play

Useful Links


Travel News

How To Listen

Latest Podcasts

92.2 / 102.5 FM
'Play Black Country Radio'