Two more historic buildings to be regenerated by the WMCA
Plans to regenerate another two historic buildings in the region have been created through investments by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The Victorian-built Globe House in Walsall and the derelict former Erdington Baths in Birmingham will be redeveloped as part of the WMCA’s brownfield regeneration and housing delivery programme.
Witton Lodge Community Association (WLCA) has submitted plans for a multi-million-pound regeneration that will see the former swimming baths on Mason Road, Erdington transformed into an enterprise and community hub with facilities including a restaurant and café.
The Globe House in Walsall, a Grade II listed building in Bradford Place, will be converted from offices into 35 apartments.
At least 20% of the apartments will be classed as affordable under the WMCA’s own definition.
Globe House, which was constructed in 1888 to mark the previous year’s Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, was used as a college for more than a century before being converted into offices.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “With the investments we are making into both Erdington Baths and Globe House, we are helping to transform derelict sites into thriving centres of local life bringing much needed jobs and homes into the very heart of these communities.
“It is great news that at the same time as we are getting this vital regeneration underway, we are preserving these beautiful heritage buildings for future generations to enjoy – building on our backing of the sensitive restoration of two historic buildings on Corporation Street in Birmingham”.
Using funds secured in the 2018 Housing Deal, the WMCA Board has agreed in principle to make investments that will kick-start both schemes, and will create more than 150 jobs and 35 new homes in the heart of Erdington and Walsall.
A report to the WMCA Board said the façade and historical features of Globe House, would be mostly unaltered by the proposed conversion into apartments.
And the abandoned Erdington Baths, would be given a “sensitive transformation” to provide affordable working and meeting spaces for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as for individuals and residents groups.
Cllr Mike Bird, WMCA portfolio holder for housing and land and leader of Walsall Council, said: “Globe House and Erdington Baths show how we are putting our money to good use to help drive a successful economic recovery and safeguard our local heritage.
“Even during the pandemic, the WMCA continued to make a pipeline of investments to help provide market confidence and support the region’s post-Covid-19 economic recovery plans”.
The Board was told the Globe House and Erdington Baths investments should be seen in the context of the WMCA continuing to exceed the targets and milestones set by Government for its devolved housing and land funds including the £100m Land Fund, £24m National Competitive Fund and the £84m Brownfield Housing Fund.