IT has been five years since the ReWyre prospectus was launched to re-energise Kidderminster.
Over the next three weeks, we will highlight what has been achieved, plans for the next 12 months and look at future priorities. A ReWyre ReNewed conference will be held in October at the West Midlands Safari and Leisure Park.
The ReWyre initiative was officially launched in September 2009. It was created to highlight the challenges and opportunities that existed within Kidderminster to attract support and investment to transform the fortunes of the town.
While the economic climate meant progress on some of the initiatives has been slower than anticipated, significant progress has been made.
The demolition of the sugar beet silos which once dominated the skyline signalled the start of regeneration work on the former British Sugar Site, now known as Silverwoods. Development at this site has so far resulted in the completion of the first phase of the Hoobrook Link Road and the building of new homes. The remainder of this 27ha site will include leisure, employment and commercial development. Work is also underway to secure a new railway halt on the Severn Valley Railway.
Another major development has seen the first phase of the Churchfields Masterplan area come to fruition with new homes at Clensmore Street and the redevelopment of the Hurcott Road maisonettes providing new and improved homes for communities.
Local businesses have benefitted from a new Local Development Order, which enabled businesses within the South Kidderminster area to develop without the need for planning permission. Both Amada and Beakbane have recently completed extensions and refurbishments of their premises thanks to a simplified planning approach implemented by Wyre Forest District Council.
Councillor John Campion, cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, said: “We are extremely proud of the momentum we have maintained during difficult economic times. Much of this is as a result of the work we put into the original ReWyre prospectus which was developed following consultation with local people and key partners.
“While we are proud of the achievements to date, we are aware that there are still many projects that need attention. It is the right time to renew our ReWyre vows at the ReWyre conference. We will be highlighting the developments to date and focusing our attention on what impact we can make over the next five years.”
In next week’s Shuttle, we will look at projects for the next 12 months.
To see the 2009 ReWyre prospectus, visit wyreforestdc.gov.uk. Engage in the ReWyre initiative, visit Twitter @NorthWorcsEDR #ReWyre.