A MULTI-million pound project to bring the Midlands Metro to Dudley has been given the green light.

The West Midlands Combined Authority approved £449million in funding for the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill rail link.

The scheme will connect Dudley with Birmingham and Wolverhampton and is predicted to generate 34,000 new jobs and a housing boom in the region.

Councillor Qadar Zada, leader of Dudley Council, said: "There’s no doubt this is a trailblazer project which will have a massive impact on the borough, beyond transportation. It will be the catalyst for new homes, commercial opportunities, jobs and much more for this borough.

"It’s taken a long time to get to this point, but the funding makes this scheme a reality and I am very much looking forward to seeing work start in Dudley as soon as possible."

Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, Dudley cabinet member for regeneration, planning and economic investment, added: "The scheme will bring improved connectivity which cannot be overstated. This will give people the opportunity to use a greener form of transport taking people off the roads and out of their cars, making it much more environmentally friendly. It will change the face of public transport forever and create vital links with major cities nearby.

"We have been talking about this important project for a long time and now we have been able to deliver on our promises."

The council also expects a cash boost from more residents in the borough which could swell the authority's coffers by £580 Million.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: "We’re investing billions in public transport networks to bring the communities of the West Midlands closer together.

"The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill line will be a true game-changer, bringing huge benefits to this part of the Black Country and acting as a catalyst for new housing, jobs and leisure opportunities.

"It will allow people to reach new employment sites – such as Castle Hill, the DY5 Enterprise Zone and Merry Hill, and forecasts predict it could lead to an almost 30 percent increase in permanent jobs in this part of the Black Country."