WEST Midlands Mayor Andy Street says he will demolish a new wave of derelict eyesores that are blighting communities across the region if he is re-elected in May’s elections.
Mr Street was speaking on a visit to the Kingshurst Parade, in Solihull, where he has already been working with Solihull Council to regenerate the site for the people of North Solihull.
He said: “We have a number of prominent run-down and derelict buildings in the West Midlands that just need to go.
“These monstrosities not only look shabby, but they also tend to attract anti-social behaviour, graffiti and fly-tipping.
“That’s why today, I’m pledging to get on with demolishing more sites across the region, so that we can replace them with new homes, shops and leisure facilities for local people.
“Demolition is a critical part of my ‘brownfield first’ approach.
“Let’s not build on our precious Green Belt – instead we should be regenerating the sites that we’ve already built on and replace these eyesores.
“We’ll be booking the ‘concrete muncher’ straight away if I’m re-elected as Mayor in May.”
The Mayor has revealed a hit-list of six eyesore buildings across the region which he has committed will be demolished in his next term in office:
Kingshurst Parade in Solihull
Barracks Car Park in Coventry
Ravenscourt in Brownhills
Dale House and Dale End Car Park in Birmingham
The Old Foundry in Fountain Lane, Oldbury
Cookley Works in Brierley Hill
This announcement builds on the regeneration success of his first four years as Mayor, where he intervened decisively to enable the demolition of Cavendish House in Dudley and the Bull Street car park in West Bromwich. (Pictures before Covid-19)
The programme of demolition will also create hundreds of new jobs and apprenticeships in the construction sector for local people in the West Midlands.
Mr Street pledged to expand the existing Construction Gateway skills programme, which has already trained over 2,000 people since he launched it in 2018.
The Mayor explained that he would be working closely with the University of Wolverhampton to train up more experts in demolition, waste disposal, and remediation.
The university recently secured £15 million with the Mayor’s support to build the new National Brownfield Institute, and is already established as a top tier institution in construction, teaching Europe’s first demolition management Master’s degree through its School of Architecture and Built Environment.
For a video of Andy Street launching his campaign, click https://youtu.be/adWy3Dzlwik