A quiet borough in the midst of two major cities
The Metropolitian Borough of Sandwell, is in perfect commuting distance from Birmingham and Wolverhampton, which are both accessible via a tram link taking half an hour.
The area also has direct train to London Euston, getting you into the capital in just over an hour and a half.
Sandwell is undergoing masses of regeneration, including a brand new £10 million health college, right in the centre of it all. There are a whole range of new homes being built. One of the biggest sites is Urban 180, which is a mixed use site with high quality affordable homes.
Phase one and two of the development are completed. The site currently has 29, two, three and four bedroom homes as well as 40 apartments. Phase three is under construction and due to be completed in October 2016. It will feature 25 new apartments and two more 3 bed homes.
At the 2011 census, The Borough of Sandwell had a population of 309,000, up nearly 26,000 on 2001. Of that population 12% of people rented homes from private landlords or letting agencies, which sees an extra 9,238 people renting in comparison to 2001. This is due in part to the housing shortage in Birmingham, with workers forced to commute in from nearby areas.
Property prices in Sandwell are low, they have seen a decrease of -0.09% in the last 12 months. Making the area cheaper than nearby Walsall and Birmingham, according to property website Zoopla. Over 14,000 people in Sandwell privately rent properties according the 2011 Census.
The area has recently benefited from a new college sponsored by the University of Wolverhampton, and specialises in Health Care and Science.
Economy & Employment
Vehicle manufacture, service sector, retail and health services are major employers in the area.
Over 55% of Sandwell’s population is in employment.
Jaguar Land Rover are a major employer in the West Midlands, having their UK headquarters and two manufacturing sites within easy commuting distance of Sandwell, they employ around 25,000 staff in the area.
Birmingham has the second highest economy in the UK and has a high percentage of service sector jobs, both Lloyds and Midland Banks were founded here.
The retail sector also plays a large part in the areas economy with Birmingham being the third largest retail area in the UK.
Sandwell General Hospital is part of the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, who are one of the largest teaching trusts in the UK
Birmingham Airport and Dunlop tyres are additional major businesses, offering large scale employment opportunities for the West Midlands residents.
New housing, £6 billion for new schools and a £370 million hospital, are changing Sandwell’s future.
In West Bromwich town centre Urban 180 is a mixed-use development which will provide high quality affordable homes. The £20 million project is a partnership between Sandwell Council, Accord Group and the Homes and Communities Agency which is transforming the site into a thriving and attractive modern residential and community enterprise space.
The Lyng housing development is also providing West Bromwich with affordable, high quality and sustainable housing. When completed the scheme will deliver a total of 450 new homes.
The Phoenix Collegiate Academy campus in Clarkes Lane, is among five Sandwell schools being revamped as part of the government’s £6 billion Priority Schools Building Programme.
The Midland Metropolitan Hospital will deliver state-of-the-art treatment and care for patients from Sandwell and across the region. The £370 million hospital is due to open in 2016, will become the civic heart of the area and a point of pride for the community.
Air: Birmingham International Airport is the nearest airport and is approximately 16 miles away.
Rail: The nearest main-line railway station is Sandwell and Dudley railway Station in Oldbury town centre.
Road: West Bromwich at the hub of Britain’s motorway network with the M5 and M6 joining here. Improvements are underway at A41 junction by West Bromwich town centre after a £25 million project grant was awarded to the area to cut congestion for commuters.
Bus: West Bromwich has its own bus station in the town centre, with connections to Birmingham and other major towns in the West Midlands region.
Tram: The Midland Metro light rail (tram) system gives West Bromwich 7 tram stops: The Hawthorns, Kenrick Park, Trinity Way, West Bromwich Central, Lodge Road West Bromwich Town Hall, Dartmouth Street and Dudley Street Guns Village. Making for excellent commuter-ability to Birmingham for work and leisure.
Sandwell is home to nearly 100 primary schools, 25 secondary schools, 4 special schools and 1 college.
Further and Higher Education: Sandwell College is housed in a £77 million building opened in February 2012. The college is capable of enrolling over 5,000 students each year across many curriculum areas.
Central Sixth delivers the college’s A-Level programme covering some thirty different subject areas. Facilities in the Central Campus include a Boeing 737 fuselage used for training those looking to work in aviation and a dental surgery used to train dental students. Central Campus also offers a wide variety of apprenticeships and a some Higher Education programmes.
Planning permission was granted in April 2014 for University Technical College. The UTC represents £10 million of investment in the town, with funding from the Department for Education and will provide 5,390sqmtr of educational accommodation for 600 pupils aged between 14-19 years old, supported by up to 60 staff.
Shops & Leisure
Shopping & Dining: West Bromwich has had an economic revival since July 2013, when the New Square shopping and entertainment complex opened in the town centre on land adjoining the existing Queen’s Square shopping centre. Hundreds of jobs have been created and the town has attracted new retailers including a Tesco Extra superstore, JD Sports, Next, Primark and Bank Fashion plus several restaurants, bars and cafés.
Sport & Culture: The town of Tipton has recently benefited from a new swimming centre. The centre has a six lane swimming pool, a dance studio and a gym. West Bromwich, is famous for its football club, West Bromwich Albion. The team is 14th in the Barclays Premier League.
Green Space: Sandwell has been awarded 12 Green Flags – including one for a park in each of the six towns of the borough. Sandwell Park Farm is a fully restored working Victorian farm. Grazing meadows, a traditional farmyard, walled kitchen gardens, Grade II listed buildings, a small museum and award winning tea rooms provide a perfect day out. Forge Mill Farm’s visitor centre acts as the gateway to Forge Mill Lake and Swan Pool areas of Sandwell Valley and the RSPB nature reserve. Forge Mill is also the centre of the farming operation within the Country Park where you can see a wide variety of the livestock that live in the Country Park.