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Redditch town centre proposals

Proposals for a new community hub and town centre plaza as part of plans to improve Redditch town centre are under consideration. Here's all the current information!

Community Hub external view from alcester st


The proposals

These proposals are for a community hub at the Town Hall, and a related plaza redevelopment off Alcester Street.

They are two parts of a Regenerating Redditch masterplan proposed by the Redditch Town Deal Board, a board comprised of residents, county and borough councils, the MP, local enterprise partnership representatives, local business leaders, and many others. That masterplan also includes Redditch Station, public realm up Unicorn Hill, and a Digital Manufacturing Innovation Centre, under a 2021 Town Improvement Plan that secured £15.6m in Town Deal funding from the government. There's a video showing the masterplan below.

The Community Hub

The hub will see multiple services working together at a transformed Redditch Town Hall, and some works are already well under way.

It will be the place to go for NHS community mental health services and children’s services, and community-use rooms, and subject to contract Citizens Advice and Cranstoun substance abuse support services too, as well as being the borough council’s main customer service centre and head office. More services may follow.

Redditch Borough Council has also invited Redditch Library to be one of the services.

Redditch Library is a Worcestershire County Council service, and so the county council will decide whether to move it into the hub or not. The county council has run the public consultation on that idea and may vote on the move in due course.

The plaza redevelopment

If the county council does move the library into the hub, then the current library site could be redeveloped into a new shopping and leisure plaza, designed to improve the connection between Redditch’s indoor Kingfisher Shopping Centre and the rest of the town centre, and create new opportunities for businesses and shoppers.

The Town Deal Board already secured over £4m in government 'Towns Deal' funding for the plaza, if it is able to proceed.

See the Links to further resources section at the bottom of this page for links to more information.

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Frequently asked questions

Question Answer
Why do this at all? Helping the town centre is one of the council's key priorities. Significant government money is available to support these proposals, which will be money coming in to Redditch.
Why this specifically? What about various other things that want doing? These are deliverable proposals and form just one part of a larger regeneration programme that includes other projects: redeveloping the train station, the police station, and so on. These proposals met the Government's specific criteria to be eligible for Towns Fund money, and have been awarded the money, which does not apply to everything. For instance train station regeneration proposals, which are part of the same wider programme, were not awarded this money.
The library isn't broken, so why fix it?

The library is a County Council service, so that would be up to them, but if the library relocates to the Town Hall, all library services provided from the existing library site will continue to be provided from the Town Hall, including computers and printers, study desks, seating, meeting rooms and meeting space. The County Council have specified that if the library were to be relocated, library floor space will remain equal to, or similar to, the current library space (initial plans show a slightly larger space with 11sqm of additional floor space); the library service will remain accessible to all; and the library service will not be reduced. It would also free up that land for the redevelopment, which is crucial.

What would the new library look like? That would be up to the county council, but the space for it in the hub would be slightly bigger than at present, and in the same building as other services too. It would be accessed much like the current Town Hall, only better.
Why at the Town Hall? Why not somewhere else? It's an ideally situated, highly accessible, public building that's already owned by the council, with space available there since some council office staff started working remotely. It already hosts other tenants than the council, and a community hub there is a logical step.
Why spend money on the Town Hall? To create a new and sustainable community hub capable of providing great services to another generation of residents and visitors, and reduce pressure on residents' Council Tax bills.
Why redevelop the library site? To make that part of Redditch town centre much better than it is now.
Why make new shops when there are empty shops? Because the proposal is about much more than just new shops. It's to create a well-connected regenerated central plaza, a type of shopping and town centre environment that Redditch currently lacks. This would create new opportunities that do not currently exist in the town, while linking up the existing old and new town areas. The whole idea would be to create the conditions that not only bring new types of business to Redditch, but improve economic activity across the town centre as a whole.
How long would it take? Hard to say unless and until decisions are made, but we would have to move quickly because the Governent requires the money to be spent injecting life into towns as soon as possible.
How much would this cost? The community hub would be a public project and cost about £5.2m to create, which the borough council would raise by selling other property it owns. The plaza would be a more commercial development, and is subject to more work, but the Government has provided over £4m to support it.
Where do I see this and the other regeneration proposals? See the Town Deal Board's website. We're lead partner in that partnership, as the planning authority, but very little of this work is by the council alone.
What process would alternative proposals have to go through? The government requirements and eligibility criteria is set out in the Town’s Fund prospectus (November, 2019) and guidance documents (June, 2020). The following are extracts from these documents:
“The overarching aim of the Town’s Fund is to drive the sustainable economic regeneration of towns to deliver long terms economic and productivity growth. This will be done through [several intervention themes], including urban regeneration.
The library redevelopment falls under the urban regeneration theme which is aimed at “ensuring towns are thriving places for people to live and work, including by: increasing density in town centres; strengthening local economic assets and site acquisition, preparation, remediation, and/or development.
Projects submitted under the regeneration theme must deliver at least one of the following outputs: Delivery of quality residential or commercial space in key locations: town centres, gateway areas, employment sites); delivery of new public spaces; remediation and/or development of abandoned or dilapidated sites”.

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How it could look

The plaza

Enabled by the Towns Fund grant that was secured by the council for this purpose, the building that currently houses the library and its surroundings could be transformed.

A new public plaza and events space with associated commercial development and opportunities would improve connectivity between the Kingfisher Shopping Centre and Redditch's historic town centre.

Redditch Town Centre Proposals overhead view

This could include bars, restaurants and more.

The community hub

The community hub would see the Town Hall remodelled to include multiple services as well as the borough council, and could include the library.

Community Hub external view from alcester st

The council chambers, where public meetings are held, would go upstairs in the new central circulation lobby, as would council staff.

Community Hub external view from alcester st

There would be shared rooms not dedicated to any occupier, which would be available for use by community groups.

Community Hub external view from alcester st

The council chambers, where public meetings are held, would go upstairs via a new central circulation lobby, as would council staff.

There would be shared rooms not dedicated to any occupier, which would be available for use by community groups.

The following images show indicative draft plans for the layout of the community hub.

Ground floor: Main entrance off Walter Stranz square, reception, public and seating areas, meeting room.

Community Hub Ground Floor

Lower ground floor: public interface areas, offices, meeting rooms.

Community Hub Lower Ground Floor

First floor: public and seating areas, meeting room.

Community Hub First Floor

Second floor: council chamber and lobby, meeting rooms.

Community Hub Second Floor

The other parts of the Town Hall building also house other public and private sector tenants, as well as council staff.

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The 'Regenerating Redditch Masterplan'

Here is an aspirational flythrough through artists' impressions of the vision and ambitions of the partners, across all five proposed regeneration sites: the station, public realm, plaza, Community Hub, and Digital Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

Please note that these videos are conceptual and for visualisation purposes only. Design aspects are subject to change.

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How Redditch Town Deal works

Redditch Town Deal is a regeneration partnership. It is managed by the Town Deal Board which is made up of local businesses, both borough and county councils, the MP, and various other agencies. As the local planning authority, the borough council is the board’s lead partner.

Launched in 2020, the purpose of the Town Deal Board is to enable Redditch to apply for and use the Government’s Towns Fund to deliver a range of town centre regeneration proposals.

In 2021 the board secured £15.6m for regeneration in Redditch town centre with a Town Investment Plan. This includes over £4m for the proposed plaza redevelopment of the current library site, amongst others.

For more information, see the Redditch Town Deal website in the links to further resources section below.

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Links to further resources

Press releases

Other resources

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