Double win for Dudley town centre

The completed Old Glasshouse building Credit: BHB Architects
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council has two reasons to celebrate: with a second-round of HLF support to regenerate Dudley town centre and a national town planning award for their refurbishment of The Old Glasshouse.

The first phase of the Dudley Historic Townscape Heritage Scheme was completed in 2015, and included the repair and re-use of a number of historic buildings, including The Old Glasshouse, a listed site originally occupied by Dudley Flint Glass works.

The Old Glasshouse was transformed into a modern bar and restaurant which opened last year. The refurbishment of The Old Glasshouse was submitted to the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) West Midlands Regional Awards for Excellence and went on to win, with judges commending the heritage-led regeneration and its joint approach by project team and funders to successfully deliver the project.

The Old Glasshouse is one of a dozen buildings to be refurbished as part of the HLF-supported Dudley Historic Townscape Heritage Scheme boosting economic regeneration in Dudley town centre.

“Dudley’s successful regeneration project proves that even small changes, such as improving shopfronts or restoring a building’s historic features, can make a real difference to communities.”Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands

A recently awarded HLF grant of over £1.1million will progress plans and allow the re-use of a further 14 historic buildings, linking Dudley’s retail area to the Civic Quarter which was the focus of phase one of the scheme.

The project will be complemented with valuable learning, community engagement and business opportunities which will improve quality of life for local people. This will include a town centre geology trail, a smartphone app, heritage open days and a town ambassador programme.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “We believe that historic townscapes are the beating heart of local places. Therefore, HLF is pleased to continue to support Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council in the regeneration of its historic town centre. Thanks to National Lottery players, the funding will support the next stage of Dudley’s successful regeneration project, proving that even small changes, such as improving shopfronts or restoring a building’s historic features, can make a real difference to the economic and social wealth of communities.”

Ian Austin, MP for Dudley, said: “I’m delighted about the continued HLF support and recent RTPI award to Dudley town centre. I’ve visited the Glasshouse several times and it’s making a real difference to the area. It’s exactly the sort of regeneration we need to attract more people into the town. I want to congratulate everyone involved and encourage as many local people as possible to visit.”

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