THE Pool Road multi-storey car park in Halesowen is set to be flattened to make way for a college building.

The news comes as £20million Levelling Up funding was approved for the town's "transformation."

The cash will be spent on a scheme which will see the ageing car park demolished and a new Halesowen College building built, improving the gateway into the town.

It will also pay for improvements to cycling provision, the introduction of traffic calming measures and improved pedestrian access.

The news will however come to a blow to some, as a petition to save the car park was started over claims from shoppers and businesses that the loss of the car park would "kill Halesowen" and lead to the closure of the town hall.

There have also been complaints from residents over Halesowen College coaches causing chaos on its roads.

Jude Dorrington reacted to the news on the Halesowen News Facebook page saying: "Absolutely ridiculous, pull down a functional carpark and build a college building, creating more traffic problems, what planet are these planners and councillors on have they not seen the chaos at Halesowen College and now they want to bring that into the town?"

But Dudley Council said alternative parking will be available at its Andrew Road car park and the leisure centre.

Halesowen BID manager Vicky Rogers welcomed the "fantastic" news.

She said: "£20 million is a significant amount of money that will go towards the regeneration of Halesowen Town Centre.

"Halesowen BID are proud to be part of the steering group that will improve the gateway into our town, with funds being invested around the Pool Road entrance to town.

"Halesowen has not received any public funding for such a long time so this is a time for transformation and we look forward to see the town thrive more and more.

"Halesowen BID who are now in their second term have worked hard alongside the regeneration team at Dudley Council and MP James Morris to develop future plans for Halesowen and they are now coming to fruition.

"Having a thriving town centre is paramount to all of us and more importantly to the local community and local businesses."

Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris said: “After previous setbacks I’m delighted Halesowen has been awarded £20m to level up our town centre, creating better parking facilities, increasing footfall in the town and providing a boost to adult skills provision with a new centre for the college.

He added: "I’ll be working with central Government, Dudley Council and Halesowen BID to ensure they come to fruition.”