By Ian Dipple 15/06 Updated: 16/06 12:41
CREATING a promotional hub and heritage centre for the town, a community arts venue and revitalising the market are among the ambitious projects which form part of Redditch's new Portas Pilot bid.
The borough missed out in the first round of the competition but those behind the bid are hopeful the revised application will catch the eye of the judges and result in a £100,000 grant, as well as support from retail guru Mary Portas and the Government to kick-start plans to revitalise the town centre.
Under the proposals put forward by Redditch Town Centre Partnership, the promotional hub would fill one of the empty units on Church Green and act as a one stop shop for visitors and residents. Information provided would include places of interest in the town, where to eat and drink, sports clubs and concerts. It would also sell tickets for events, showcase locally made goods as well as sell local history books, guides, postcards and souvenirs. It would be run by volunteers.
There are also plans to create a town heritage trail using commemorative plaques marking the historical buildings which have survived the 1960s and 1970s New Town Development as well as information about others which disappeared such as Evesham Street, which the Kingfisher Shopping Centre now stands on.
There are also plans to create a community arts centre in one of the larger empty units in the town centre, providing a temporary use for Redditch Arts Group as well as offer rehearsal and performance space. The Partnership also wants to create a community events programme with events staged throughout the year and in particular a week-long festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary in 2014 of Redditch being designated a new town.
Revitalising the market is also included through measures such as speciality markets, like arts and crafts and vintage, as well as themed days such as farmers and Christmas markets.
Ros Sidaway, of Redditch Town Centre Partnership, told the Standard: "The bid will focus on community initiatives to help bring the ‘old town’ area back to life.
"The outcome will be a town centre that is refreshed and takes on new significance as a social place for all ages, with activities for the whole community, attracting shoppers and visitors and offering increased opportunities for employment and commerce."
The bid has to be submitted by June 30 and the partnership is appealing for letters of support from residents and businesses backing the proposals. Visit www.redditchtcp.org.uk for more information.
Redditch has already received £100,000 from the High Street Innovation Fund and will use it to implement its original plan to create a business start-up package for anyone wanting to take an empty unit in Church Green, Market Place and Alcester Street. Details will be announced shortly.
A WOMAN who has spent more than 40
THE SAVE The Alex campaign has begun and
A SENIOR consultant at the Alexandra Hospital has
EVENING bus services are set to return on
SEXUAL assaults were carried out on two teenage girls in ...
ONE OF Worcester's most historic buildings has been brought back ...
THE case against a retired police officer charged with the ...