Transport tech college plan for Brierley Hill

A new transport technologies education centre is being planned for Brierley Hill as part of a £20 million bid.

Dudley Council is working with Dudley College of Technology on the bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund. It also includes new cycling and pedestrian links into the town centre as well as expanding the college’s Skills Shop at the Merry Hill Centre.

As part of the bid there are also plans for a bridge to create a pedestrian and cycling link between Venture Way and High Street to Merry Hill.

If the bid is successful, the new 3,000 sqm college building will be built at the rear of the college’s Inspired building in Venture Way and will boost the town’s education quarter. It is the latest bid to the Levelling Up Fund which includes schemes in Halesowen, Lye, and Dudley. Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:

"This is such an exciting development and will be a major boost to education and skills for young people. As part of our Child Friendly Dudley commitment, we are ensuring young people have the very best start in life, have access to first class education facilities and get the best training facilities for long and successful careers.

"Along with the improved pedestrian and cycling facilities the future looks very bright for people living, working, visiting and studying in Brierley Hill.

"I’m pleased we have been able to submit a bid for this round rather than waiting for a future opportunity and allows us to work with Dudley College which has built so much positive momentum in recent times with its expansion in Dudley. We need to seize this opportunity now and strike while the iron is hot."

The Brierley Hill bid is supported by Dudley South MP Mike Wood, which is an essential part of the submission to the government.

If the bid is successful the new college will create hundreds of places on courses on the future of sustainable transport, while the improved pedestrian and cycling links aim to bring more people into the town.

The expansion of the Skills Shop in Merry Hill Shopping Centre which supports adults seeking to upskill or reskill, will allow an additional 200 learners to access employer-led training which fills job vacancies in sectors such as Administration, Retail, and IT. Neil Thomas Chief Executive Officer and Principal of Dudley College of Technology who are partnering the Council on the bid added:

"The proposed transport technologies centre will place Brierley Hill at the heart of new and emerging technologies which are beginning to impact on us all, including electrical/hybrid vehicles, hydrogen technologies, alternate fuels, and automated control.

"The centre is about planes, trains, and automobiles, as it will cater for skills development across a range of industries, all of which will provide new job opportunities and allow business in the region to be at the forefront of the changes we are going to see."

The Chamber of Commerce who are supporting the proposal believe there will be an additional 35,000 technicians needed to support the transport sector by 2030 as the pace of technological change speeds up.

The outcome of the bids will be announced in the autumn and the plans will be subject to the normal planning consents being granted.

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