Part of the Black Country, Walsall is reinventing itself with a series of regeneration programmes, featuring award-winning public spaces such as the once-derelict Walsall Waterfront, which is home to the acclaimed £22m art gallery. Famous for its thriving leather industry, we still boast to have the largest concentration of leather workers in Northern Europe, with the football team being proudly known as the ‘Saddlers'.
Walsall also has a rich canal heritage. The picturesque canals attract visitors and provide access to the town's attractions, including the Leather Museum, the Jerome K Jerome Birthplace Museum, and Walsall Arboretum. All, including the art gallery, are free to visit and offer lots of family activities during the holidays.
The Arboretum itself is a beautiful Victorian park visited by more than 1 million people a year. Previously home to the famous Illuminations, it is now undergoing a major redevelopment programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with the new water park drawing in many families on hot days.
Surprisingly, Walsall as a borough boasts an extensive range of diverse green spaces, with over a third of the area being open park and farmland. The surrounding area offers a choice of market towns and villages. Shopping and leisure areas are being revitalised in the town centre making Walsall quite the shopping destination.
We now boast the modern Crown Wharf Shopping Centre as well as still utilising the more historical arcades. Walsall Market has been well known in the West Midlands and running strong since 1219. The now reoccurring night market has won awards with its combination of live music, street food, unusual gifts and children's rides.
As a culturally diverse town, over 15% of our population are of an ethnic minority; the diversity this brings is reflected in the vast range of restaurants and fast food establishments. The same can be said for our close neighbour Birmingham, the country's ‘second Capital', which is a mere 20 minute drive away.
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