Dudley Council’s leader has welcomed funding for the £24million Dudley Interchange, which will connect Metro and bus journeys in the town centre.

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) leaders have given the go-ahead for the high-quality bus and tram interchange and have released new images of how it will look.

The interchange will be located on the same site as the current bus station and forms a crucial part of the wider regeneration of Dudley town centre.

It will link to the new Metro tram extension, currently under construction by the Midland Metro Alliance between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill, with both projects due to be completed in 2023.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: "We are delivering a £1billion regeneration masterplan for Dudley borough, and despite the restrictions caused by the pandemic, Dudley town centre is currently a hive of exciting construction work.

"I welcome the confirmation of funding for the town’s Interchange. We have continued to drive forward plans to improve access to travel for the town, and this impressive facility will help people to connect their bus, Metro and rail journeys.

"Our plans for Dudley town centre will revolutionise the education offer in our borough and create exciting new jobs and opportunities for local people. Transport will be a key component in making our vision a reality."

The existing Dudley bus station was built in 1986 and is the oldest in the West Midlands. With 420,000 bus departures per year pre-pandemic, it's also one of the busiest.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the WMCA, is leading on the Interchange project in partnership with Dudley Council. The majority of the funding is coming from the region’s Transforming Cities Fund allocation, topped up with contributions from the council and WMCA.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: "Like other town centres, Dudley has been hit hard in recent years, which is why the WMCA is putting its cash to good use to help revitalise the borough.

"From helping to knock down the tombstone of Cavendish House to make way for the Portersfield development, to extending the Midland Metro through the town to Brierley Hill, we are committed to doing what we can to support the council in bringing their ambitious £1billion masterplan to life.

"That’s why I'm delighted we have approved even more funding for Dudley, with the new interchange set to provide a fitting gateway to what will be a revitalised and reborn town centre."

Find out more about the Dudley regeneration project at regeneratingdudley.org.uk