By Ian Dipple Wednesday 19 September 2012 Updated: 19/09 11:55
BUSINESSES will have the chance to sponsor some of Redditch's most famous features in future.
Councillors have given the green light to allowing advertising on the borough's roundabouts which could raise as much as £20,000 a year.
Planning permission has already been granted on seven roundabouts with more due to be included in the scheme if there is enough demand.
Signs inviting offers from companies will be put in place shortly on islands at Alcester Highway/Rough Hill Drive, Redditch Ringway/Coventry Highway in the town centre, Alvechurch Highway/Windsor Road, Warwick Highway/Battens Drive, Studley Road/Woodrow Drive, Woodrow Drive/Washford Drive/Forge Drive and Washford Drive/Icknield Street Drive.
A special website will also be set-up so businesses can apply directly to the council.
Companies will be offered three year deals and the price will vary between £5,000 and £3,000 a year depending on the size, location and traffic flow around the roundabout.
The signs will be minimal in size and designed to comply with county council highway regulations so as not to distract drivers or to look unsightly.
Allowing advertising on the roundabout by the former Hewell Road Swimming Pool in Batchley and the roundabout at the top of Rough Hill Drive has been ruled out as both are deemed unsuitable.
Adverts of a religious or political nature, promoting services of a sexual nature, tobacco, considered unreasonable by the council or breaching other laws or guidelines will not be accepted.
As well as advertising it is hoped the move will also pave the way for public art and floral displays on islands as well.
Coun Mark Shurmer told an executive committee meeting on Tuesday (September 18) it was something which had long been talked about but never delivered.
"When this has been brought up before there have been all sorts of excuses for not doing this - the planners won't like it, it will distract motorists, they're too heavy," he said.
"Roundabouts are something Redditch is well-known for and this should be a nice little earner."
Coun Luke Stephens added: "It's a positive move and good to see we're looking at different ways of getting revenue into the council."
Redditch's roundabouts attracted worldwide attention ten years ago when resident Kevin Beresford produced his famous calendar in tribute to the landmarks.
But Mr Beresford, president of the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society, said they did not approve of the move.
"We feel it lowers the tone and interferes with the aesthetics of the island, but as long as they are not too overbearing we'll allow it."
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