Dudley Council submitted a planning application to demolish the derelict 1930s building on Castle Hill, which was last used in 2009 as a bingo hall.
Campaigners have fought for years to save the historic Art Deco-style building – which once housed comic book legends Laurel & Hardy – but Dudley Council sees its demolition as part of the £ 1 billion regeneration plans sterling for the city.
As a result, the conservative-led local authority has now officially submitted its proposals which will be submitted for consultation and councilor approval.
It was also revealed that education at the site will be led by the University of Worcester and specialize in health.
The new education center is expected to be operational by fall 2024 and will be around the corner of the Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology, which is expected to start teaching higher education students about science, technology, engineering and math this year.
Dudley’s head of council Councilor Patrick Harley said: “This is an important phase in our £ 1billion regeneration plans and builds on the tremendous progress we have been able to make with Metro, Very Light Rail and the demolition of Cavendish House over the past two years.
“I can fully understand the local activists who want to save the old racetrack building, and I am encouraged to see community groups working so passionately to improve the city.
“But we simply cannot allow this discussion to continue for another decade after exhausting all opportunities to find a huge amount of funding.
“Over the years, we have received several business cases from successive campaign groups and handed over the keys to the building.
“But no one has been able to make significant progress in relaunching a theater that has not performed for over 60 years.
“I met with the activists and agreed to work with them on ongoing regeneration proposals and to look for ways to improve Dudley’s cultural offering and nightlife economy.”
The higher education application was developed by the Towns Fund Board of Trustees – a partnership between Dudley Council, Dudley College of Technology, University of Worcester, Tourist Attractions and other key Dudley organizations .
Dudley was one of 100 regions across the country invited to bid for a share of the £ 178.7million Towns Fund.