Dudley is a metropolitan borough formed in 1974. It is located on the edge of the West Midlands conurbation, approximately 9 miles west of the city of Birmingham and 6 miles south of Wolverhampton. Rural Staffordshire and Worcestershire border Dudley Borough to the west and south.
Being at the heart of the Black Country, which also includes the neighbouring boroughs of Sandwell and Walsall and the city of Wolverhampton, Dudley has a rich cultural and industrial heritage. The Borough is predominantly urban in character, but rather than having one primary centre there are four main towns interspersed with smaller towns and urban villages. This has given rise to a very local feel that is a feature of the Borough’s communities.
The main town centres are: Dudley towards the north of the Borough, Stourbridge in the southwest, Halesowen in the southeast and Brierley Hill near the centre. The nationally renowned Merry Hill Shopping Centre and the Waterfront business and leisure complex now form part of Brierley Hill town centre.