DUDLEY town centre traders are preparing for disruption during regeneration work with the message “we are open for business”.

Work on the £6.7m redevelopment of the Dudley Market Place area is due to start on Monday January 20.

The first phase of the project will include the laying of new stonework in Castle Street and should be completed in May.

The second phase of the work, from the junction with High Street through to New Street, will include a newly designed market featuring 74 stalls, new paving, feature lighting and street furniture.

The project will also involve the relocation of the public toilets to allow the repositioning of the Duncan Edwards statue. The historic fountain will also be fully restored and the Earl of Dudley statue will be reset within a raised lawn.

Councillor Judy Foster, Dudley cabinet member for regeneration, said: “While road closures for Castle Street and New Street are absolutely necessary in the interests of public safety, it is important for people to know that they can still access the market stalls, shops and businesses by foot and that the town centre is very much open for business and this includes Dudley bus station.

“There is plenty of on street parking which will accommodate those people who want to nip into town quickly and for those who wish to stay a little longer, there are several long stay car parks on the edge of town.

"I hope Dudley’s loyal shoppers continue to use their favourite shops and stalls while the works take place and I look forward to everyone benefiting from the end result that this redevelopment will bring to our much loved town centre.”

The entire project is expected to be completed by early 2015, for more information visit www.dudley.gov.uk or call Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345.