A designer who founded the world famous fashion brand Red or Dead has been Wayne Hemingwaycommissioned by Wyre Forest District Council to create a new vision for the future of Kidderminster.

Marketplace expert Wayne Hemingway says he is paying the town back for the support given to him 40 years ago.

His company, Hemingway Designs, won a successful bid which will allow them to work with Wyre Forest District Council on a new town centre project.

There have been massive changes in shopping habits, global trends and what attracts people to town centres. Kidderminster has been particularly affected and now it is also feeling the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some major high street retailers have already indicated that they will not be re-opening in the town.

Wyre Forest District Council is working on a new purpose for the town centre and looking at how it can adapt to unprecedented market changes. It is looking for a model which can be applied to or adapted for all our town centres.

Wayne and his team visited the town on Tuesday 13 October and will now be creating a vision which will define Kidderminster for generations to come and directly involve the community in the planning process.

This commission has been funded in partnership by Wyre Forest District Council and the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership as part of its initiative through the Strategic Economic Plan Towns and Local Centres programme.

Wayne Hemingway said: “We entered a bid to come up with a vision for the future of Kidderminster town centre and we happily won it. We’re going through the biggest societal change in how people live their lives and use their town centres.

“Everybody has ideas – our first job is to come up with a series of questions to try and test out ideas for the public.

“We’d like to get a few thousand people to fill in a short survey – we hope to get that out within a few weeks.

“We genuinely enjoy collaboration, and the town will get more out of it.”

Picture from left to right: left to right: Richard Jones (Avison Young), Hans Van Bommel (NEW Masterplanning), Wayne Hemingway (Hemingway Design), Millie Bryant (Hemingway Design), Geraint Hughes (NEW Masterplanning), James Dair (Avison Young), Oliver Davey (Urban Movement)