Smethwick Town Fund: government go-ahead for five projects

Sandwell’s Towns Fund Programme has taken a leap forward this week, with £23.5m funding for five regeneration projects in Smethwick approved by the government.

Proud to be part of Sandwell's Towns Fund PartnershipAs you may know, in 2020, Rowley Regis, Smethwick and West Bromwich were among 101 places selected by central government to bid for funding in the national Towns Fund initiative. All were successful.

This week the government has approved the funding for the five individual Smethwick projects.

Together the Smethwick Town Fund projects will have the power to positively impact Smethwick residents in different ways, enriching lives and helping to build a better future. As it is a five-year programme, projects will come to life at different points during this period.

The five Smethwick Town Fund projects are:

• Expansion of the Ron Davis Centre (Sandwell Council) – the development of the learning centre for adults aged 19+ will provide a greater range of services to the wider Smethwick community, increasing the quality and breadth of local skills.

• Midland Met Learning Campus (Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust) – a major new skills resource next to the Midland Met University Hospital development, providing training in health care and healthcare-related positions.

• Grove Lane Regeneration (Sandwell Council) – the acquisition and remediation of a selected site within the area to accelerate regeneration for housing delivery.

• Rolfe Street Canalside Regeneration (Sandwell Council) – the demolition and remediation of the site to free up land for a development-ready location, which will provide much needed housing to support the wider regeneration of the town.

• Smethwick Connected (Sandwell Council) – a scheme to improve access and connectivity within Smethwick by delivering cycling and walking infrastructure improvements, and enhance safety.

The five approved Smethwick Town Fund projects will deliver:

• 31 full-time equivalent jobs
• 155 temporary jobs
• 1,380 learners enrolled onto courses
• 30,000sqm of land remediated for future development
• 2.7km of new cycle ways
• 3.6km of new pedestrian paths.

Councillor Peter Hughes is Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and growth. He said: “We welcome the government’s approval for our five Smethwick projects, which will make a real difference to our residents.

“By working together in partnership, we will strengthen our businesses, enhance our infrastructure, boost Sandwell’s entrepreneurial spirit, bring communities together and create a fairer, more resilient Sandwell”.

About the other Towns Fund bids in Sandwell

Sandwell Council has worked in partnership with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, Canal & River Trust, Greets Green Community Enterprise Centre and Sandwell College (Sandwell’s Towns Fund Partnership) to help secure £67.5 million Towns Fund investment in total for Sandwell. This is the largest amount for any local authority area under the Towns Fund programme.

To date, eight out of 16 projects have been approved by the government. Sandwell’s Towns Fund Partnership looks forward to receiving a response from the government on the Rowley Regis Town Deal projects and the remaining West Bromwich projects.