Struggling town and city centres in the West Midlands have been given a £155m boost to help aid their recovery from the pandemic.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed in his Budget that the Government will provide £1bn from the Towns Fund for a further 45 Towns Deals across England.
This includes £116m for the regeneration of town and city centres in the Black Country, including £25m each for Wolverhampton and West Bromwich, £23.5m each for Smethwick and Nuneaton and £19m for Rowley Regis, while a further £39m will be allocated to Kidsgrove and Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire.
The Chancellor said the funding is to help “level up regional towns, giving them the tools to design and implement a growth strategy for their area and aiding local recovery from the impacts of the pandemic.”
Research suggests that the West Midlands could be hit harder economically than anywhere else in the UK as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
But West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, believes the region will be able to “bounce back quickly” thanks to Rishi Sunak’s Budget and his decision to support the West Midlands.
He said: “The Chancellor has done exactly what we asked of him, and set out clear and wide-ranging support to help see West Midlands businesses and the self-employed through to the end of the roadmap and into the recovery stage.
“I am particularly pleased to see our asks for the West Midlands responded to so well, with significant cash for reviving town and city centres.
“The pandemic has really hurt the West Midlands economy, but with the measures announced today, alongside our local plans, I am confident we will be able to bounce back quickly and start getting people back into work.”