A bid has been submitted for £2 million worth of funding as part of a project to breathe new life into Brierley Hill High Street.
Dudley Council bosses have asked Historic England for cash through its Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) programme.
One in five (19%) of the properties in the High Street are currently vacant, with many, including a number of former pubs, in a poor state of repair.
The council wants to use the cash to make improvements to properties with a view to bringing them back into use, either for retail or for housing, to regenerate the ailing High Street.
New signage and improvements to the street scene will make the gateway entrances at either end of the High Street more attractive. Council bosses are also exploring the possibility of creating a pedestrian link through from the High Street to the new Metro extension, expected to be in place by 2023.
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:
I fully support this Heritage Action Zone funding bid, which if successful will bring much-needed investment into the centre of Brierley Hill and in turn support local businesses.
The Metro extension coming to Brierley Hill in 2023 has the potential to be a real game changer for the town.
As a council we are fully committed to investing in the town to capitalise on the new opportunities the Metro will bring.
If the HAZ bid is successful, it will form the lions’ share of the near £2.9 million scheme, with the council putting in nearly £400,000 along with £500,000 match funding from the private sector.