Last year the prospects for the project were doubtful, as the Arts Council was unsure that it would have any lottery money to hand out. Together with Sandwell council, it had supplied grants worth nearly £5m to cover the project's development funding.
The arts scheme was set up by Jubilee Arts, a community group, in 1993. It has worked with local schools, businesses, retailers, residents and volunteer groups for seven years to reach a consensus about the final plans for the project.
The complex will include a gallery, public square and a performance area. It is expected to receive 250,000 visitors a year, generating an annual turnover of £8m. It is due to open in 2004.
Structural engineer is Adams Kara Taylor and environmental engineer is Battle McCarthy. The QS is Hanscombe and Citex is acting as agent to Jubilee Arts.
Alsop won the Stirling Prize in 2000 for the Peckham Library in south-east London.