REDDITCH has been awarded £15.6million of Towns Fund money from the Government.
While short of the hoped for £25m the borough had bid for, local MP Rachel Maclean said the sum would still ‘turbocharge’ their plans to ‘unlock Redditch’.
She said: “Our agenda to Unlock Redditch is now benefiting from real investment from central government, which means we will press ahead with the delivery of tangible change for the people of Redditch.
“I believe this funding really will be game-changing for our town. We will make Redditch a town fit for the 21st Century by investing in skills, tackling climate change and making Redditch a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
Councillor Matt Dormer, Leader of Redditch Borough Council, added: “This really is an historic investment for Redditch and could well be the single largest Government investment our town has seen since it became a new town.
“Now it’s time to get on and deliver our ambitious plans to unlock Redditch’s full potential.”
Redditch Labour also welcomed the announcement of £15.6m but said it was disappointed the borough didn’t achieve the full £25m bid for in the Redditch plan.
Labour Group Leader Coun Andy Fry said: “We will study the details of the projects that have been approved and look forward to being fully involved in the delivery and call for full community participation in the delivery plan.”
The £15.6m represents one of the single largest Government investments in Redditch since it became a new town in the 1960s.
It comes on top of the £1 million advance Redditch was awarded last year from the Towns Fund to accelerate investment in the town.
In September 2019, Redditch was revealed as one of 101 towns across the country invited to develop proposals for a new generation of multi-million-pound Town Deals.
Since then a local Town Deal Board of local businesspeople, community leaders, Coun Dormer and Mrs Maclean, have worked to develop Redditch’s Town Investment Plan.
This plan was then submitted to Government in January this year after receiving cross-party support at Redditch Borough Council and bolstered with backing from Worcestershire County Council.
The money will now be used to invest in skills, digital manufacturing, green infrastructure and town centre regeneration in accordance with the Town Investment Plan.
The plans include:
The creation of a Digital Manufacturing and Innovation Centre.
Town centre regeneration by upgrading Church Green, Evesham Walk and Unicorn Hill, as well as improving walking and cycling infrastructure.
The creation of a modern new public square, which will improve the flow between the Kingfisher Shopping Centre and the rest of the town centre.
Relocation and modernisation of Redditch Library to create a cutting-edge offer fit for the 21st century.
The development of a Transport Interchange and Railway Quarter.