THE government has approved Dudley College's bid to build a new £32 million Institute of Technology in the town.

The Secretary of State for Education has given the green light for the development, which will see the proposed Institute built on Castle Hill.

Work is expected to start in October this year and will open for students in September 2021.

The new facility will specialise in advanced manufacturing, modern construction methodologies and medical engineering.

Lowell Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Dudley College of Technology said: “I’m delighted that our proposal has been accepted. This is a marvellous opportunity for the people and businesses of the Black Country and the wider West Midlands region.

"The role of the IoT will be to develop the technical skills base of the region in sectors where there are skills shortages and high demand. It will help both individuals and businesses to thrive, and provide a further boost the regional economy.

"I can’t thank all of the project partners enough for their tremendous support.”

The announcement was welcomed by Ian Austin MP, who has worked closely with the college to secure funding from the government.

Mr Austin said: "This is brilliant news for Dudley. I've always said we need to make education and skills our number one priority because there'll be massive growth and lots of well-paid jobs in new hi-tech industries over the next 20 years, so this will help us develop the skills we need to attract new industries and new jobs, help local businesses grow, give youngsters a first class start and help adults get new jobs too.

"I've worked really hard to support this project and I want to thank Lowell and his team who are making such a difference in Dudley."

The three-storey Institute will be built on Castle Hill close to the new Metro stop, the very Light Rail Innovation Centre and the Black Country Living Museum.