Andy Street, who is the Mayor for the West Midlands, has officially announced that the University of Wolverhampton is now home to the new National Brownfield Institute which will help challenge the housing shortage within the UK.
The report to fund the institute with a £350 million pound housing deal for the West Midlands was announced by the chancellor in his spring statement.
£100 million of the housing fund will be used to create the institution that will work towards buying and cleaning up former industrial sites and land in the Black Country to build new homes on.
Experts at the institute will deal with all features of development such as working around contaminated land and repurposing buildings and unused sites.
Commenting on the news at an event, the Andy Street said: “The West Midlands economy is going from strength to strength but that growth brings its own pressures and we need to build 215,000 new homes by 2031 to meet our future housing and economic needs.
“That will require fresh ways of thinking and greater use of new, advanced home building methods.”
Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Our vision forSpringfield is that it becomes a hub for excellence in construction and the built environment on a national and even international scale.
“The National Brownfield Institute is a major part of these plans and we see it as being very much a beacon for skills, providing solutions through innovation and new technology for the sector as a whole.
“There is a huge amount of brownfield land across the Black Country and wider West Midlands and we are looking forward to helping play an integral role in identifying and unlocking that land’s potential for regeneration and in particular supporting ways to address the housing shortage.
“Springfield itself is a perfect example of how brownfield land can be transformed and regenerated supporting jobs and the regional economy.”
The institute will be based at the University’s new Springfield Campus, which has a 12 acre, £100 million brownfield regeneration project, in Wolverhampton city centre and will be housed along with the University’s new School of Architecture and Built Environment.
The university aspires to have completed the first and largest phase of the project by building the School of Architecture by the 2019-2020 academic year.
The school will join the West Midlands University Technical College and the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills Hub, which will open next month.