Kidderminster town centre in 'transition' as rental rates fall

Kidderminster Shuttle: IN TRANSITION: Crown House, which will be torn down as part of an extension of Weavers Wharf. IN TRANSITION: Crown House, which will be torn down as part of an extension of Weavers Wharf.

RENTAL rates in Kidderminster town centre dropped by nearly 30 per cent last year, raising questions of how well the town is actually recovering from the economic downturn.

A survey by retail agency Colliers International, published in its midsummer retail report for business property owners and developers, described Kidderminster as one of “the worst performing centres” in the West Midlands – the UK’s “third worst performing” region.

It showed rental rates in Kidderminster town centre dropped by 27.3 per cent to £40 per sq ft between 2013 and 2014.

Conservative Wyre Forest district councillor John Campion, however, said the town was “in transition” and commercial rental rates rising too much could put off new businesses coming to the town.

Cllr Campion said: “This survey is published for commercial property owners and developers so naturally takes comfort from rentals rising in some areas like Birmingham.

“Kidderminster, like many other towns, is a town in transition. Rents will be higher in the newer developments like Weavers Wharf but lower in older parts like Worcester Street.

“The council is committed to regenerating Kidderminster and as this progresses we expect commercial property returns to rise. We would, however, not want rents to rise too much as this would discourage new businesses and make it harder for existing ones.”

On average, rates across the West Midlands region as a whole decreased by 2.3 per cent – the seventh year of decline – but the figures are edging closer to pre-recession levels, with minus 1.2 per cent recorded in 2008.

Birmingham bucked the trend with a rise of four per cent to £285 per sq ft. The UK average saw an increase in town centre rental rates of 1.8 per cent.

David Fox, head of Colliers International, said the figures marked “the first signs of recovery”.Wyre Forest District Council is currently trying to balance attracting businesses to the area and continue major redevelopment projects in Kidderminster town centre – including expanding Weavers Wharf and demolishing Crown House.

Comments (7)

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9:51am Thu 3 Jul 14

GGmommy says...

It isnt recovering....simple
! Why does it raise questions?

Planning and development at the periphery of the Town Centre has pretty much drawn the business out from the Traditional town and people simply do not go there unless they want to visit one of the pound shops which by their very nature are not going to be the type of stores to look for high rents.

The Town Centre as we know it is no more in Kidderminster.
It isnt recovering....simple ! Why does it raise questions? Planning and development at the periphery of the Town Centre has pretty much drawn the business out from the Traditional town and people simply do not go there unless they want to visit one of the pound shops which by their very nature are not going to be the type of stores to look for high rents. The Town Centre as we know it is no more in Kidderminster. GGmommy
  • Score: 2

10:19am Thu 3 Jul 14

thatshowitis says...

well said.
well said. thatshowitis
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Thu 3 Jul 14

sonofbaldwin says...

The article just talks about 'rental rates', which doesnt give the whole picture. Maybe we could make more of a judgement on the state of the economy if the survey looked at actual business premises occupancy levels within the west midlands?
The article just talks about 'rental rates', which doesnt give the whole picture. Maybe we could make more of a judgement on the state of the economy if the survey looked at actual business premises occupancy levels within the west midlands? sonofbaldwin
  • Score: -1

8:37pm Thu 3 Jul 14

BewdleyBugle says...

At least this is a sign that the retail market in Kidderminster is responding to reality, i.e. massive over-supply of poor quality retail space. That should certainly drive rents down. Looks like property owners have at last realised that their income expectations have to be seriously revised downwards.

I'd really like to see lower rents draw new businesses into the town - that's how the market should work.
At least this is a sign that the retail market in Kidderminster is responding to reality, i.e. massive over-supply of poor quality retail space. That should certainly drive rents down. Looks like property owners have at last realised that their income expectations have to be seriously revised downwards. I'd really like to see lower rents draw new businesses into the town - that's how the market should work. BewdleyBugle
  • Score: 3

9:50pm Thu 3 Jul 14

khfc says...

I agree - there is currently too much retail space.

Isn't the idea to build residential properties in the Worcester Street/Bromsgrove St area? The centre of the retail part of the town has shifted. We need more people visiting the town centre in the evenings. Trying to get people to live there is one solution but there needs to be more good restaurants and pubs/bars that attract the 30+ crowd.
I agree - there is currently too much retail space. Isn't the idea to build residential properties in the Worcester Street/Bromsgrove St area? The centre of the retail part of the town has shifted. We need more people visiting the town centre in the evenings. Trying to get people to live there is one solution but there needs to be more good restaurants and pubs/bars that attract the 30+ crowd. khfc
  • Score: 6

11:07pm Sat 5 Jul 14

John Herbert Smith says...

Get some flats built in/near the town centre. This will attract young professionals into the town looking for affordable first time buyer homes, they'll actually use the shops and restaurants/ cinema.

Walking distance to the shops, walking distance to the station - in Birmingham in 35 mins on the train. No need for a car. Sustainable living that benefits the town.
Get some flats built in/near the town centre. This will attract young professionals into the town looking for affordable first time buyer homes, they'll actually use the shops and restaurants/ cinema. Walking distance to the shops, walking distance to the station - in Birmingham in 35 mins on the train. No need for a car. Sustainable living that benefits the town. John Herbert Smith
  • Score: 0

3:02am Wed 9 Jul 14

Jake42 says...

John Herbert Smith wrote:
Get some flats built in/near the town centre. This will attract young professionals into the town looking for affordable first time buyer homes, they'll actually use the shops and restaurants/ cinema. Walking distance to the shops, walking distance to the station - in Birmingham in 35 mins on the train. No need for a car. Sustainable living that benefits the town.
this is whats needed, the old way of retailing is dead, the internet has took all that , look at thriving towns like Bewdley, Tenbury ,Ludlow, all have people living in the town centre, get people living in the town and the town comes alive, Kidderminster is dead after 5pm .
[quote][p][bold]John Herbert Smith[/bold] wrote: Get some flats built in/near the town centre. This will attract young professionals into the town looking for affordable first time buyer homes, they'll actually use the shops and restaurants/ cinema. Walking distance to the shops, walking distance to the station - in Birmingham in 35 mins on the train. No need for a car. Sustainable living that benefits the town.[/p][/quote]this is whats needed, the old way of retailing is dead, the internet has took all that , look at thriving towns like Bewdley, Tenbury ,Ludlow, all have people living in the town centre, get people living in the town and the town comes alive, Kidderminster is dead after 5pm . Jake42
  • Score: 2
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