Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street today officially opened a new regeneration scheme in Dudley - expected to create 7,000 jobs and launch 300 new businesses.
Hundreds of people turned out for the launch of DY5, Dudley’s Business and Innovation Enterprise Zone, at the Copthorne Hotel in Brierley Hill.
The zone is led by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) working with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
At the DY5 launch (l-r) Tom Westley, Black Country LEP board member, Dudley Council regeneration chief Cllr Ian Kettle, Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, Mayor of Dudley Cllr Dave Tyler, Dudley Council leader Cllr Patrick Harley and Alan Lunt, strategic director for place at Dudley Council.
The Mayor, who was the keynote speaker at the launch, praised the venture and said it was time to ‘go out to the world and show that Dudley is very much open for business’.
He said: “This development is critical, not just for Dudley but for the whole of the combined authority, fitting in with many of our objectives, not least the arrival of the Midland Metro.
“We have something here to be proud of.
“I am a huge supporter of Enterprise Zones (EZs) and the benefits they can bring – I am absolutely certain that DY5 will bring the same results to Dudley that other EZs across the region have already delivered.”
Cllr Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, and Tom Westley, board member and Black Country Enterprise Zone lead at the Black Country LEP, also addressed business bosses at the event.
They heard of the benefits of relocating to DY5, including reductions in business rates of up to £55,000 per annum over a five-year period and improved transport links when the new Metro line opens in 2023.
DY5 will help to rejuvenate the Waterfront office complex at Merry Hill and create additional office, technology and industrial space in the surrounding areas of Brierley Hill, Harts Hill and Pensnett.
It is expected to boost the local economy by nearly £600 million a year.
Cllr Harley said: “My vision for Dudley is to be a place where people come and choose to do business, to live and spend their leisure time.
“We’ve talked about it, the time for talking has now finished, and now it’s time for action.
“To deliver DY5, to get those office units filled, to get those industrial units built, to get those businesses to occupy them, and to make this project an absolute success.”
Mr Westley said: “Collectively we have worked extremely hard to get to this point and DY5 offers a huge opportunity for investors, developers and businesses.
“The Black Country is already home to the UK’s most successful Enterprise Zone, i54, which to-date has created 4,000 new jobs in advanced manufacturing.
“We look forward to the same success for DY5 delivering new jobs, new businesses and a high tech office hub for the Black Country which connects advanced manufacturing to industrial sites through a new sustainable Metro link.”
DY5 joins a portfolio of sites across the region, including Darlaston and Wolverhampton North (including i54), which make up the Black Country Enterprise Zone. To date the zone, which is spread over 120 hectares, has created 4,000 new jobs in advanced manufacturing including aerospace, automotive and engineering.
People can keep up to date by following @DY5enzone on twitter or DY5 Enterprise Zone on Linkedin.