Plans for a 'university park' in Dudley moved a step closer this month with the appointment of a Higher Education Institution to drive the project forward.

Earlier this month Worcester University was appointed to lead on plans to build a university centre at Castle Hill, as part of Dudley Council's Towns Fund plan.

The development of the university centre, which will be located alongside the Black Country & Marches Institute of Technology and the Very Light Rail Innovation Centre, is a key part of the council's strategy to develop a higher education campus at Castle Hill.

Dudley Council will submit a bid for £25 million towards the cost of the project to the Government's Towns Fund in January 2021.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, told Prosper, "I am delighted the University of Worcester will be working to develop our bid to deliver a further university presence in Dudley.

"If our bid to the Towns Fund is successful, the money will allow us to protect and promote employment by expanding the skills opportunities for adults and young people.

"The economic shock of Covid-19 has made this investment more needed than ever as we look to provide opportunities in sectors with rising job vacancies, which need higher-skilled workers."

The University of Worcester will deliver its outstanding programmes centred around health care and allied professions including nursing, midwifery, paramedics and related health occupations from the new Dudley site.

Professor David Green CBE, the University of Worcester’s vice-chancellor and chief executive, said, "We are delighted to have been chosen to partner with Dudley College, council and Towns Fund Board to develop a thriving university centre in Dudley.


With our health partners, we look forward to offering many, many first-class opportunities in Dudley to gain a top-quality health professional qualification in nursing, midwifery, paramedicine and more.

"We will also be working with our partners in education, business and sport, in particular, to create opportunities at the university centre to earn qualifications in these vital sectors in which skilled professionals are badly needed.

"The Towns Fund Board decision to invest in a Higher Education Centre is Dudley is wise and far-sighted. At the University of Worcester, we will do all we can to help turn this brilliant decision into a thriving, dynamic, truly valuable success for the people of Dudley, the wider Black Country and beyond."

Andrew Lovett, chair of Dudley Towns Fund Board, which oversaw the appointment on behalf of the council, added, "On behalf of the board I now welcome the opportunity to move this proposal forward at pace. The University of Worcester is established as a sector leader but, more importantly, is already a long-standing contributor to the skilled workforce in Dudley and the wider West Midlands, working with health trusts across the region.

"Their commitment to the town and the shared vision of the university centre as a place of excellence, that contributes to the wellbeing of individuals and the broader community shone through in their submission to be the chosen higher education institution. Collectively we can now work to make the development of a university for Dudley a reality."


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