West Midlands URC faces funding axe

The future of urban regeneration company RegenCo has been cast into doubt following news that Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council is considering pulling funding for the body.

A cabinet meeting is taking place today at Sandwell Council to decide on the future funding settlement for RegenCo after a recommendation was put forward by council officers to withdraw funding from March 2010.

Operating across West Bromwich, Smethwick and Hill Top, RegenCo was set up by Sandwell Council, regional development agency Advantage West Midlands and the now-defunct regeneration quango English Partnerships in 2003.

RegenCo chief executive Karen Walker said that the recommendation was "deeply disappointing. It is a direct result of the current challenging financial climate and by no means a reflection of RegenCo’s performance".

Cabinet member for regeneration and transport at Sandwell Council, Bob Badham, said the council remained committed to regeneration in the area.

He said: "Whatever happens, I can reassure people that major projects such as the regeneration of West Bromwich will continue to completion."

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