Region secures an extra £84m to redevelop derelict industrial sites

Up to 7,500 new homes across the West Midlands are to be built on former industrial land after Boris Johnson announced an extra £84m to expand the region’s brownfield regeneration programme.

Unveiling a £5bn infrastructure investment package to help drive the UK’s post-Covid-19 recovery during a visit to Dudley, the Prime Minister revealed his economic stimulus included £400m to support brownfield redevelopment across Britain.

The Prime Minister’s decision to award more than a fifth of that funding to the region means hundreds more acres of derelict land can now be regenerated, building on the footsteps of numerous stalled schemes the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has unlocked over the last two years.

Since the £100m Brownfield Fund was given to the WMCA as part of its Housing Deal in March 2018, sites such as Friar Park in Sandwell, the largest brownfield housing site in the region, have been made ready for redevelopment by the WMCA.

Last week the region submitted a £3.2bn West Midlands investment plan to Government, which included a request for further funding for brownfield land regeneration.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The West Midlands has been leading the way since 2018 on regenerating brownfield land to create thousands of new homes, and I am pleased the Prime Minister has given us the cash needed to keep the work going at pace. It is also encouraging that just one week after submitting our £3.2bn investment plan to Government, one of the requests has already started to come to fruition.

“Our Brownfield First policy is critical as it not only regenerates contaminated, derelict old land – which in some cases has blighted communities for decades – but it also allows us to protect our precious greenbelt at the same time.

“This latest funding will allow hundreds more acres of former industrial land to be developed into thousands of new homes, something that will be critical as we look to re-boot our economy following the coronavirus pandemic.”