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Wyre Forest District Council is set to agree an ambitious regeneration blueprint for the next five years at its Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 16 December.

The Council has been working with its partners to drive forward the regeneration of the district through its visionary ‘ReWyre’ regeneration programme for the last five years.6093 3D VIEW PENNY BLACK SQUARE (reduced)

Since the ReWyre programme was launched in 2009 and following the subsequent State of the Area debates held in 2012 and 2013, the Council and its partners have achieved a number of notable successes including:

  • Investment in Kidderminster town centre through the £2m public realm improvement scheme due to start in early 2015;

  • Working with the owners of the Weavers Wharf Retail Park to plan the multi million pound expansion of the site, including the proposed demolition of Crown House and creation of an attractive new public space at the Bullring;

 

  • Securing £20m of public-private investment to deliver phase 2 of the Hoo Brook Link Road to unlock the full potential of the former British Sugar site;

 

  • Introduction of the Local Development Order at the South Kidderminster Enterprise Park, which helped to attract a global aluminium casting company Amtek to invest in the former Lawrence’s recycling plant on the Stourport Road and create up to 500 jobs over the next few years;

 

  • Delivering new flexible business incubation units at the SPACE facility in Kidderminster with 13 local small businesses taking advantage of this unique opportunity;

 

  • Investing in local people through its highly successful Apprenticeships programme, with over 35 young people given an opportunity to get on the employment ladder.

 

Following an inspirational keynote speech at the ReWyre ReNewed conference by Wayne Hemingway MBE on 13 October at Spring Grove House in Bewdley, the Council is now looking to re-double its regeneration activity.  

At the conference, Wayne’s message was that the Council and its partners should not be afraid to take off the financial and procedural ‘straightjacket’ when planning the future development of the district and challenged councillors to enable people to ‘swim at their own risk’.20131016Bullring Update

Wayne Hemmingway cited the example of the diving pontoon in the harbour in Copenhagen where local residents can swim in the harbour without any form of policing or regulation and are trusted to do the right thing, swimming at their own risk.

Wayne also underlined the importance of creating inspiring places where people want to live, work and spend their leisure time.

The report embraces some of the key themes outlined by Wayne at the conference and sets out a number of key proposals which will be delivered by the Council and its partners over the next 5 years.

  • Initiating work to ‘re-imagine’ the declining Worcester Street and Bromsgrove Street areas of Kidderminster town centre, recognising that the area can be better served as a residential area complemented by smaller retail / leisure uses and high quality design and public spaces, with improved connectivity to the nearby Railway interchange. 

The Council will continue to support businesses and retailers in this area to make the transition to a new future for this part of the town.

  • There are plans to deliver the next phase of the Churchfields urban village and further work to attract new businesses to the district as well as support for existing businesses that have plans for growth under an ‘economic gardening’ idea.

 

  • Continuing to encourage inward investment into the district focusing on growth sectors and key employment sites

 

  • Identifying ‘grow your own’ initiatives to support and nurture existing growth companies within the district

 10040.C.069.A_CGI - Bull Ring View 2

Cllr John Campion, Cabinet Member for Planning & Regeneration said:

"I’m very proud of the success that the Council has made of its ReWyre regeneration initiative and of the real benefits it has been able to deliver over the last five years. We must continue to move forward and look at the new challenges the district faces and that is why I arranged the October conference. We were all inspired by what Wayne Hemingway had to say and have focussed our plans for the next five years of ReWyre on some of the exciting ideas Wayne’s presentation generated amongst the delegates on the day. I’m very much looking forward to continuing the delivery of real benefits to the residents and businesses of Wyre Forest for the next five years.

“It is vitally important that the Council, as a community leader, has a clear set of plans and priorities to support its visionary economic development and regeneration work going forward.  The Council is absolutely committed to delivering on its existing commitments such as the £2m public realm improvement scheme in Kidderminster Town Centre, but also to finding long term solutions to some of the most challenging and complex sites within the district such as Worcester St and Bromsgrove Street, rather than applying short term fixes. 

Our businesses and residents must have confidence that the Council is striving to ensure that the district has a flourishing economy and that’s exactly what our ReWyre initiative sets out in the report for our next Cabinet meeting.

Councillor Marcus Hart, the Leader of the Council said:

“We will continue to surge ahead with our regeneration work. We will continue to work positively with the two local enterprise partnerships and with our other partners in this crucial work on regenerating the district.”

The Cabinet meeting is open to the public and takes place in the Council Chamber at Wyre Forest House on 16th December at 18.00 hrs.

To help set a future course for the next five years of the ReWyre initiative and to also guide the Council’s future investment in its economic development and regeneration activities, a major conference branded as ‘ReWyre ReNewed’ took place on 13 October 2014 at Spring Grove House in Bewdley.  Around 60 delegates from the public, business and education sectors attended the event. 

Pictures show (in order of appearance): Penny Black square, Bull ring plans and proposed layouts.


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Wyre Forest District Council