Bid for Dudley tunnel centre

Published: Friday, 23 October 2009

A BID has been made to Dudley Council for the construction of a visitor centre at the Dudley Tunnel, it was announced this week.

The Dudley Canal Trust, which runs the site, is applying for grants to go it alone, after missing out on its lottery bid.  It has produced detailed plans for its part of the project of the creation of an education and visitor centre, which it hopes will boost the profile of the attraction and improve facilities for visitors, Alan Tilbury relates.

Proposals include new parking facilities, exhibits to detail the history and importance of the site, a new ticket office, improved catering, retail and toilet facilities. Other changes which have been proposed included better links with the neighbouring Black Country Living Museum and indoor space for educational events and activities.

General Manager June Hodgetts explained:

"The hub will create a great space for everybody, especially schoolchildren, to come down and learn about the site, as well as experiencing the canal trips.

"It will provide a place for us to celebrate the history of the canals and the people who worked on them. as well as helping the long term development and restoration of the canal tunnels and limestone caverns."

If funds are obtained to allow design plans to be drawn up, a planning application will be submitted to Dudley Council.