KIDDERMINSTER residents have given the thumbs up to proposals for a new public square outside the town hall.

According to Wyre Forest District Council, the concepts for the square, to be known as Exchange Place, received excellent feedback during a consultation in March, with 72 per cent of respondents supporting the design.

The square, which will provide an open space for cultural, arts and public events, is based on the design of the original Penny Black postage stamp – an idea created by Kidderminster’s Sir Rowland Hill – and features new lighting, paving, planted areas and street furniture.

It would also reorganise how traffic flows, extending down Vicar Street and High Street.

Public realm design specialists IBI Taylor Young have been commissioned by the district council to draw up detailed designs, which will be published in August.

District council leader, Conservative councillor John Campion, said: “We are excited to see the plans moving forward and a new public square is a great starting point to breathe new life into the town centre.

“Our vision for the newly created space is that it plays host to a range of activities and events that showcase the skills and talents of local people and visitors. Arts, sport and cultural events will have a bright new platform in the heart of the town.

“These attractions do have a real economic impact, getting the town working more efficiently and attracting more people to visit.”

Exchange Place will be the first scheme as part of the public realm improvement over the next two years.

Other projects, revealed by The Shuttle in March, include changes to the Bull Ring, which could include flattening Crown House and the return of Grade II-listed Richard Baxter statue.

Worcester Street could be opened up to traffic – a proposal which gained the support of 78 per cent of consultation respondents.