DUDLEY town centre is a step closer to major redevelopment after plans were submitted for a multi-million pound revamp.

Council planners have received a formal application for a £6.7m upgrade for the Market Place area on the High Street and Castle Street which will feature a newly designed market with 74 stalls plus new paving, feature lighting and street furniture.

Public toilets at the site will be moved to allow the repositioning of the Duncan Edwards statue while the historic fountain will also be fully restored and the Earl of Dudley statue will be reset within a raised lawn.

Councillor Judy Foster, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The traditional market layout of the design comes following extensive consultation with the market traders who are supportive of the proposals.

“The design of the stalls follows a similar layout to previous markets in the town but the plans will create a more spacious arrangement with better access for both traders and shoppers alike.”

Work on the project is expected to start in January with the market revamp set to begin in Spring and the scheme should be completed by mid-2015.

The project will be funded by Dudley Council and the European Regional Development and is part of ambitious plans to regenerate large parts of the central area.

Dudley Council's leader, cllr David Sparks, says the investment will bring new business into the shopping area.

Cllr Sparks said: “Quality street design is a proven way of creating economic benefits and we look forward to making this exciting scheme a reality in the New Year. We want to transform the retail offer Dudley provides and we are confident the new market place will play a key role in supporting our vision for the town.”

The design of the market place stalls will include artwork and clocks while artwork will also be feature to improve the mediaeval passages in the conservation area of the town centre, including the Green Man Entry, Long Entry and Rutland Passage.