Wyre Forest regeneration
"Since its inception in 2009 the ReWyre Initiative has created and influenced many changes in the Wyre Forest region. Several areas have seen significant development, not least the former British Sugar site in Kidderminster, bringing more housing, better leisure facilities and employment to the town. Our focus remains on regeneration and improvement, underpinned by a strong business economy, thus ensuring that Wyre Forest is an attractive place to live and work.
Our board, comprising members of the private and public sector, is ensuring that schools engage with local businesses, showing the children that great career opportunities are available on their doorstep in a variety of industries and professions. We are encouraging young entrepreneurial talent to set up and thrive in the region, whilst supporting our local colleges who champion apprenticeships as a great introduction to the workplace and a route to full time employment.
As it enters its second decade ReWyre will continue to work with WFDC, the County Council and Local Enterprise Partnerships to ensure that Wyre Forest gets the very best opportunities and funding to drive the region forward."
ReWyre – the story so far
Launched in 2009, the ambitious 30 year vision - ReWyre Investment Prospectus was adopted.
In 2016, Wyre Forest District Council's Cabinet approved a new strategy for enabling business growth and enterprise. The strategy was prepared by NWedR.
It defined a clear vision for the future of Kidderminster and identified what became known as an ‘Arc of Opportunity’ that incorporates four strategically linked Action Areas. These were: Kidderminster Town Centre, Comberton Hill Gateway, Churchfields and Silverwoods on the A451 road linking the town with nearby Stourport-on-Severn.
The Prospectus, delivered through teamwork between public sector partners and a development-led approach of local authority planners, has resulted in a remarkable level of public and private-sector investment in Wyre Forest's priority commercial areas. The aim of the Initiative is to promote and develop the exciting prospects of the district and make it an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest. The ReWyre Renewed 2014 report is available to download as a PDF, if you require the ReWyre Renewed 2014 report in an additional format please contact Jane Doyle by email.
Many of these projects have already been delivered or are well into the development process.
In September 2019, local business leaders joined the ReWyre Board with Wyre Forest District Council and key partners to mark 10 years of the ReWyre project. This meeting highlighted the achievements to date and outlined the priorities for the future. Find out more here
Current regeneration projects
Future High Streets Fund
The Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) is a Government funding initiative to transform struggling high streets.
Kidderminster has been awarded £20.5 million from this fund. The announcement was made on 26 December 2020. All work within the Kidderminster FHSF proposal is to be fully delivered by March 2024. The three approved FHSF projects are all part of the ReWyre visioning – reflecting the need to improve connectivity in the town and redevelop key sites such as former Crown House (Bullring area), Worcester Street and Bromsgrove Street and the Former Magistrates Court.
The Council is also developing its Kidderminster 2040 Town Centre Vision through Hemingway Design which will capture the wider town and embrace the Future High Street Fund initiatives.
Former Magistrates Court
The Former Magistrates’ Court site will be transformed into a cultural and creative hub, providing a range of creative industries work and production space; with some co-working, some cellular lettable spaces in the main buildings and some in pods in the historic weaving sheds.
The hub will contribute to town centre regeneration as part of the wider Lion Fields Development Framework. This will be achieved both through the creation of new working environments, but also through entertainment and gatherings. In the weaving sheds there will be the opportunity to hold small informal events and conferences/exhibitions/festivals.
In additions, an inside small venue in the Former Magistrates’ Courtroom (Venue 1) will provide further conferencing and performance space. A planning application for the development is expected in Summer 2021.
A key part of the Kidderminster regeneration is the acquisition of key buildings and demolition to provide new connections and public realm through the town and to provide greater connectivity and accessibility around Bromsgrove Street, Worcester Street and Oxford Street.
The Bullring area
There will be extensive redevelopment to the Bullring area to create a new gateway into Kidderminster town centre where Crown House once stood.
This includes potentially reopening the culverted section (the underground tunnel where the river flows underneath) and combining the Bullring road space to create new development opportunities at this part of the town.
Further design work is due to be undertaken later this year and will consider how this space will be developed in the future.
Lion Fields is a collection of inter-related sites that provide a regeneration opportunity within Kidderminster Town Centre. The area has been split into a number of parcels, which are being developed independently with the recognition that they all form part of the wider regeneration and development of the town centre.
The first phase of the development has seen the demolition of the former Glades Leisure Centre, to provide a cleared site and, following a formal competitive tender process undertaken by Wyre Forest District Council, Cordwell Property Group along with Peveril Securities have been selected as the preferred developer. The development proposed is a mixed-use leisure facility which will be anchored by a cinema.
The second phase of Lion Fields is the area that is dominated by the former Magistrates Court. This site is likely to be a residential led redevelopment and will be slightly more challenging to deliver due to some of the site constraints that exist.
Former Magistrates Court Regeneration
An architect-led professional team has been appointed to prepare proposals to develop and extend the Former Magistrates Court in Kidderminster.
The redevelopment will include a Creative Hub – co-working workspace, maker’s studio, recording studio, office space, cafe/bar and performance venue.
Proposals are anticipated by May 2020.
Hoobrook Link Road and Silverwoods
The new £16m road provides a vital link to the strategic highway network from the A451 Stourport Road through to the A442 Worcester Road. Following the delivery of the road, developers are currently building new industrial and commercial properties along this route.
Churchfields plans include a development of circa 350 homes in Churchfields, Kidderminster. New infrastructure has been developed.
The project aims to deliver a new urban village alongside a range of highways improvements to support the development. These include a significant enhancement to the A456 roundabout at Blackwell Street, a new T-junction providing access to Churchfields, and the creation of a new link road from the A456 to the development area.
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