The team selected for the estimated £128,000-to-£160,000 contract will draw up a series of ‘suitable, feasible and acceptable options’ for the historic town centre which features a large 3ha Conservation Area and several large undeveloped derelict sites.

The study aims to find ways to maximise existing assets within the town centre while also boosting Wednesbury’s ‘offer to visitors, residents and businesses.’ The masterplan is part of a larger £2.9 billion programme of investment by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council running until 2027.

According to the brief: ‘The proposed masterplan represents an important opportunity for Wednesbury. It will allow councils and key landowners the opportunity to explore and support growth opportunities in this important area of town, and to set expectations about the content and timing for development proposals.

The Masterplan needs to showcase the area’s full potential and will demonstrate the commercial opportunity and potential financial returns while embracing core urban design principles for residential development. The document will provide inspiration to enable the delivery of new homes and jobs in the context of a high-quality mixed-use environment which will provide the basis for a thriving and resilient town.’

Wednesbury, one of the smallest townships within the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council boundaries, is home to approximately 41 335 people.

The settlement lies a few miles south-east of Wolverhampton. In its town centre, you will find a variety of buildings from the 18th to 19th centuries as well as an iconic clock tower and market.

Recent local investments include the creation of a new £10 million leisure centre designed by the council’s in-house Urban Design and Building Services.

The latest masterplan will provide an ‘ambitious vision’ for the town centre while also identifying ‘impacts, influences, constraints, consequences and opportunities’ which relate to the economic challenges faced by high streets nationally.

The study will be expected to highlight ‘deliverable transformational place-making projects’ and opportunities while also identifying key investment and delivery priorities.

Quality and price will be weighed 60/40 in the evaluation of bids submitted for masterplanning contracts.

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