Industrial region receives major funding for mixed-use redevelopment of dead college campus to boost COVID-19 economic recovery

Northwest of Birmingham, in the economically-struggling industrial Midlands of England, the Telford & Wrekin Council has been awarded nearly £2.5 million for the mixed-use redevelopment at the former New College site in Wellington.

The council applied to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Stronger Communities Fund to accelerate building projects following the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

In making the award of £2.38 million, the MHCLG said “The project will unlock this site, delivering new residential units and incorporating sustainability in design.

Overgrown college sign. Photo courtesy of Telford & Wrekin Council.

Earlier this year, the Council submitted a planning application to demolish the modern college buildings, leaving the Edwardian school building. Demolition work is due later this year.

Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said “Having worked hard to submit the bid against very short timescales we welcome this funding which will help us deliver the next phase of the redevelopment of the former New College site.

Earlier this year, we applied for permission to demolish the modern college buildings and, as part of that, we applied for government funding to go towards the new buildings on the site which will provide a great opportunity to bring new investment into Wellington,” he added. “We are working on a detailed scheme for the site which we will publish in due course and will be subject to planning permission.

Subject to further planning permission, it is intended for the site to consist mainly of residential properties, with some specialist housing and community facilities. Building work could start next year.

Councillor Lee Carter concluded “This is a very positive development for College Ward and will represent a significant and welcome regeneration project on one of the key entrances to Wellington. Investment of this significance into the Ward is a once in a generation opportunity and we can be excited about the transformation it has potential to bring.

Photo of downtown Wellington is by Tom Oates via Wikipedia (2009).

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