A BIG name Black Country businessman and the RAF are to be given the freedom of the Dudley borough.

Dudley Council is set to bestow the honours on Roy Richardson and RAF Cosford after councillors approved the plan at a meeting of the full council tonight (Monday December 4).

Mr Richardson is perhaps best known for developing the Merry Hill shopping centre together with his late brother Don.

He is also a member of the Dudley borough business champions group, which helps forge closer links with the authority and the business community to help boost the economy.

RAF Cosford, which is set to celebrate its 80th year next year, has a long association with the borough, recruiting staff and supporting events such as Armed Forces Day. Meanwhile - the RAF will also mark its 100th anniversary next year which will culminate in celebrations across the country.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said: “The freedom of Dudley borough is a huge honour and is steeped in history. I’m delighted we can highlight the work they do and the achievements they have made in this way.

“They join a long list of big names to receive the honour most recently world tennis star Jordanne Whiley and comedian Lenny Henry.”

The honours will be bestowed on Mr Richardson and RAF Cosford by the Mayor of Dudley at a later date.