An artist's impression of the new development at Castlegate, Dudley.

An artist’s impression of the new development at Castlegate, Dudley.

Construction of an exciting new £5 million development that will bring three major High Street leisure brands to Dudley town centre – creating around 80 jobs – is expected to start this year, it was announced today.

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council has granted detailed planning consent for the scheme at Castlegate which is being delivered by leading commercial property developer Stoford.

The development includes a Greene King pub, a Kentucky Fried Chicken drive-thru restaurant and a Costa Coffee at the Castlegate Business Park, off the Birmingham Road, on land owned by the Homes and Communities Agency. A fourth unit is expected to be built speculatively.

Dominic Stokes, director at Birmingham-based Stoford, said: “This is an exciting project which supports the development of Castle Hill and Dudley town centre by providing complementary visitor facilities. We expect work to begin on site in November and the businesses could be trading by summer 2016.”

Council leaders have welcomed the plans as a boost to the ongoing regeneration of Dudley.

Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for planning and economic development, said: “This scheme is very welcome as it provides job opportunities for local people while complementing the exciting and innovative developments we have already put in place or are in the pipeline in Dudley town centre, including the multi-million pound investment in the market place and the expansion of Dudley College.
“Our ambition is to make Castle Hill a major regional destination bringing more people and investment into the town than ever before by encouraging new businesses into the area and promoting tourism opportunities for visitors. “This clearly demonstrates that Dudley is open for business and we welcome and support these new businesses coming into the town.”

Steve Holland, head of asset management at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), said: “This project will further improve the offer of Castlegate Business Park as a destination venue and also the wider regeneration of Dudley which we are supporting.”

The Castlegate Business Park is already home to restaurants including Frankie and Benny’s and Pizza Hut, as well as a Showcase Cinema.

Stoford has been involved in two other developments at Castlegate. The company completed a two-storey office scheme at Castlegate Business Park for the Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust.

Stoford appointed Benniman Construction Group to build and fit out the 10,000sq ft development which completed in 2013. The project was funded by AC Lloyd, which retained the completed development within its portfolio. It was Stoford’s second development on the site owned by the Homes and Communities Agency, which also includes a 63–bedroom Premier Inn hotel and restaurant developed by Stoford in 2014.

Stoford is a leading specialist in occupier-focused development. It has delivered over 10 million sq ft of pre-let development and in 2015 has more than 950,000 sq ft of pre-let space under construction throughout the UK.

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