Since being elected in 2017, I have pushed the Government to fund the reopening of Willenhall Railway Station after it was shut in 1965 following Labour's Beeching Cuts. Since then, Willenhall desperately needed to be better connected with the West Midlands for work, education and leisure. A railway station would also see further investment into Willenhall as we connect with other parts of our region. I have lobbied the Department for Transport to provide funding to reconnect Willenhall with the West Midlands and the rest of the country. I am grateful to the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, who has also worked tirelessly on this campaign.
I am delighted that in 2019, the Conservative Government awarded funding to reinstate Willenhall Railway Station, putting Willenhall back on the map. I welcomed the Secretary of State for Transport to Willenhall to announce that we will be getting our railway station back. This exciting news was welcomed by everyone across Willenhall who have been travelling to Bloxwich, Walsall or Wolverhampton to get to work or college.
The announcement of Willenhall Railway Station saw further investment into Willenhall. The Conservative-led Walsall Council created the Willenhall Framework Plan, setting out an ambitious 10-year deliver strategy for Willenhall's development into a vibrant, connected and welcoming town. This will see high quality homes, more opportunities for the people of Willenhall through the railway station, allow Willenhall to benefit from the economic growth of the West Midlands and create a happier and healthier place to live and work. You can find out more here.
In November 2020, the Conservative-led Walsall Council approved the planning application for Willenhall Railway Station, giving the green light for Willenhall Railway Station to be built. Construction started on the station in November 2021 and mine shafts beneath the sites will need to be stabilised. Although significant remediation work is required onsite due to additional mine shafts being found, progress is certainly being made.
I will continue to keep you updated as further progress is made on this exciting project!