The mothballed former Hippodrome building in Dudley will be demolished after the Secretary of State decided not to intervene.
Members of the development control committee granted planning permission for the demolition of the dilapidated former theatre and bingo hall last month (Nov).
Earlier this year a request was submitted to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to consider whether the application should be determined by the local planning authority.
But a letter from the top government department to the council said that the secretary of state was “content that it should be determined by the local planning authority.”
It now paves the way for the building to make way for a new university style campus along with land that once accommodated the Plaza Cinema as well as the former JBs nightclub and martial arts centre.
Earlier this year it was confirmed a bid for £25million to the government’s Towns Fund to finance the project had been successful.
Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:
We are pleased the secretary of state has concluded that intervention is not necessary in this case. This has been a long, drawn-out process but we owe it to the people of Dudley and students of the future to get this done.
The fact that we are now clear to move forward with the demolition of the building means that we are one step closer to creating a first-class higher education facility that will boost jobs, training and the local economy.
The bid has been drawn up by the Towns Fund Board – a partnership between the council, Dudley College of Technology, University of Worcester, tourist attractions and other key organisations in Dudley.
The development will include a university style campus and will provide higher education courses for the health sector. It is expected the new facility would be up and running by Autumn of 2024.
Dudley College of Technology agreed to work alongside the council to develop the new facility, after building up a degree of expertise through the development of the Dudley Learning Quarter and the creation of the Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology.
The teaching and learning that will take place will be driven by the University of Worcester. The facility will form part of a £1billion package of regeneration projects in Dudley including the Midland Metro extension, very light rail innovation centre and new Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre.