Get ready to join the celebrations

By Ian Dipple Friday 29 November 2013 Updated: 03/12 10:43

A JOINT civic and community pledge to create a better Redditch will kick-start a six month programme of activities and events to mark the 50th anniversary of the new town.

The document will be a symbolic recreation of new town designation in 1964 which led to the rapid pace of change Redditch has experienced over the last five decades. Civic leaders and residents will be called on to sign the vision statement as well as residents and pledge to do their bit to ensure the town thrives over the next 50 years.

The event will be the first of the anniversary programme which runs from April to September. Named the So Redditch Festival, the aim will be to recognise the borough's past, present and future while stitching generations and communities together to mark the important milestone.

The centrepiece of the festival will be a week of events within the town centre at the end of July to include a vintage film festival including footage of old Redditch, an exhibition of the history of the new town project, street theatre, food market and an It's A Knockout style contest.

The Kingfisher Shopping Centre will also be marking the 40th anniversary of the opening of the first phase of the development.

The week will culminate in a fancy dress parade following a similar route to last year's Olympic Torch run, events on Church Green and a music festival around the town centre.

The bandstand programme will also form part of the calendar of events and the festival will end with a Redditch's Got Talent contest.

Other events are also in the pipeline and residents and community groups will be urged to either create a new event or theme an existing one around the 50th anniversary as part of a challenge to hold 50 events during 2014.

A Redditch version of classic board game Monopoly has already been created as part of the anniversary celebrations.

The programme is being organised by Redditch Town Centre Partnership along with the arts and events team from Redditch Borough Council.

Ken Williams, chairman of Redditch Town Centre Partnership, said: "The 50th anniversary is a chance for people to rethink Redditch. I would call upon residents to come together, reflect on the past, bring forward the best of what we have and celebrate the town we have today. The Town Team has a vision to create a stronger, vibrant more prosperous Redditch while having a lot of fun at the same time."

Further details of the festival will be announced over the coming weeks and months.

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