Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham and Black Country jobs funding

Artist's impression of Canal Street, Birmingham Image copyright Birmingham City Council
Image caption The area around Curzon Street station is due to be redeveloped as part of plans for HS2

Almost £500m of government funding has been awarded to improve transport and create jobs in Birmingham and the Black Country over the next three years.

The projects include improved links to Birmingham's Curzon Street station, earmarked as the terminal for the HS2 high-speed rail line.

The government said almost £100m would be invested in the area in 2015-16, helping to create up to 25,000 jobs.

It is part of a £6bn fund to boost local economies across the UK.

Birmingham City Council Leader Sir Albert Bore said the government funding would help "kick start a range of major projects" to improve transport in and around the city.

In Birmingham, the investment includes backing for the extension of the Midlands Metro tram network to Edgbaston, Curzon Street and Digbeth enterprise zone.

Wolverhampton railway station will also be redeveloped, with links to Birmingham improved.

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Media captionThe work will see Wolverhampton railway station redeveloped, along with its car park

Government money has been earmarked for a new construction training centre in Dudley, as well as facilities at Birmingham's South and City College, to help equip local people for jobs connected with the building of HS2.

A new engineering centre is also planned at the college to help train small and medium-sized businesses supplying car manufacturers in the area.

Life sciences at the University of Birmingham will receive funding, with a four-hectare science park planned, while the university railway station will be upgraded.

Rail and road links are also being redeveloped at MG Rover's former site at Longbridge, now the focus of a £1bn town centre development, the first phase of which opened in August 2013

Andy Street, chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull local enterprise partnership, said the money was a "vote of confidence in the economic renaissance of Greater Birmingham".

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