SENIOR council bosses have said the £250 million metro extension into Dudley and Brierley Hill will ‘transform’ the borough.

Dudley Council’s deputy chief executive Alan Lunt said a “raft of new investors” had come forward wanting to invest – particularly in Dudley town centre – since the announcement of the plans, which expect to see passenger services begin to Dudley by late 2022 and to Brierley Hill by late 2023.

Mr Lunt was speaking in front of more than 100 people from businesses across the region at a special DY5 breakfast meeting to look at the value of “Connecting the West Midlands”.

At the meeting, hosted by Waterfront-based Higgs & Sons solicitors, people were able to find out how their business and the wider economy will benefit from the investment in the region’s transport infrastructure in the coming years.

The morning focused on discussions around the impact of HS2, extending the metro line from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill and introducing very light rail in Dudley.

Mr Lunt, strategic director for place and deputy chief executive, said: “We think the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension will be transformative for Dudley.

“We have seen a raft of new investors come forward, wanting to invest in Dudley town centre. This is just one of many positive knock on effects bringing the Metro to Dudley will unlock.”

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, who was present at the meeting, said: “What is clear is that we have a lot to look forward to in Dudley and the wider region.

“In the next 15 years, there will be a major change in the way people move around the West Midlands and the ease in which they get here.

“And in Dudley, I strongly believe we’re in the driving seat. We already benefit from a fantastic central location and good road links, but when the Midland Metro rolls in we will be connected to the national rail network, and eventually high speed rail, for the first time in decades.

“Not only does this mean it’ll be easier for local people to travel around the West Midlands, it also opens up new opportunities for people to travel here whether that’s for work or to visit one of our fantastic tourist attractions.

“The world’s eyes will also be on Dudley as we develop very light rail, a project to revolutionise light rail technology globally.

“These projects combined can only have a positive impact on Dudley’s prospects and its economic growth.”