Public square in Kidderminster set for £1.5 million funding boost

Kidderminster Shuttle: STEP CLOSER: How 'Exchange Place' could look. STEP CLOSER: How 'Exchange Place' could look.

PLANS for a new public square outside Kidderminster Town Hall have taken another step forward.

Worcestershire County Council is set to put £1.5 million towards the £2 million ‘Exchange Square’ scheme, which will see Wyre Forest District Council create a redesigned space around the town hall.

Based on the design of the original Penny Black postage stamp, the new square will extend further into the town centre via Vicar Street.

The funding is due to be discussed at a full council meeting later this month.

Conservative county councillor Simon Geraghty, cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: “Investment in economic initiatives is a key priority for the council and this type of investment will send a positive message that the town centre is open for business.”

Conservative councillor John Campion, leader of the district council, said: “These are exciting times for Kidderminster, that will see the creation of a multi-functional public square and the opening up of the River Stour.”

Independent councillor Helen Dyke, added: “The plans proposed will make the traditional streets and spaces of Kidder - minster more attractive and will enhance the con - nectivity in the town.”

A timetable for delivering the scheme is being drawn up and it is hoped work will start on the improvements later this year.

Design plans for the area received the thumbs up from residents during a public consultation held last year.

Comments (25)

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8:24am Mon 17 Feb 14

paulinejanet says...

will this show the town centre is ready for business? I don't think so the town is full of charity shops betting shops 97p shop and £1 shop hardly worth spending £2 million pounds towards a square outside the town hall that most people probably don't want in these times of austerity I would think this is the last thing people in Kidderminster want especially all the pensioners who have had their wardens etc stopped
will this show the town centre is ready for business? I don't think so the town is full of charity shops betting shops 97p shop and £1 shop hardly worth spending £2 million pounds towards a square outside the town hall that most people probably don't want in these times of austerity I would think this is the last thing people in Kidderminster want especially all the pensioners who have had their wardens etc stopped paulinejanet

8:26am Mon 17 Feb 14

paulinejanet says...

I should have added 2 million cost even though the county council will put £1.5 million towards it
I should have added 2 million cost even though the county council will put £1.5 million towards it paulinejanet

8:32am Mon 17 Feb 14

GlenFiddick says...

At least it will create a better environment for those excuses for women who sit outside the town hall, swig their Crucial Brew and swear at and abuse passers by.
At least it will create a better environment for those excuses for women who sit outside the town hall, swig their Crucial Brew and swear at and abuse passers by. GlenFiddick

10:14am Mon 17 Feb 14

SOS lad says...

What a waste of money, cut backs on social services, turn off street lights to save 1/2 million pounds, job cuts,cutting bus services I think we need to sort this council out at the next elections.
What a waste of money, cut backs on social services, turn off street lights to save 1/2 million pounds, job cuts,cutting bus services I think we need to sort this council out at the next elections. SOS lad

10:24am Mon 17 Feb 14

adskii says...

Excellent idea. The town needs smartening up.
It will make people want to visit and be in Kidderminster and spend money.
Excellent idea. The town needs smartening up. It will make people want to visit and be in Kidderminster and spend money. adskii

11:03am Mon 17 Feb 14

runningbear says...

It looks horrible.
It looks horrible. runningbear

12:37pm Mon 17 Feb 14

jon cooper says...

I have to say that the artists impressions and plans for regeneration in Kidderminster are much more transparent to what is available elsewhere in the district at this time ... But i'm completely bemused why both our local politicians and authorities are burying their heads regarding the Worcester Street situation, whist injecting millions into an area of Kidderminster that clearly doesn't need it.
I have to say that the artists impressions and plans for regeneration in Kidderminster are much more transparent to what is available elsewhere in the district at this time ... But i'm completely bemused why both our local politicians and authorities are burying their heads regarding the Worcester Street situation, whist injecting millions into an area of Kidderminster that clearly doesn't need it. jon cooper

1:22pm Mon 17 Feb 14

adskii says...

Worcester Street will probably be converted to residential as the town centre shifts. I'm sure they are not "burying their heads". There is actually a plan on the WFDC website about re-generating that part of the town. Whether it gets traction and happens will depend on many factors no doubt....
Worcester Street will probably be converted to residential as the town centre shifts. I'm sure they are not "burying their heads". There is actually a plan on the WFDC website about re-generating that part of the town. Whether it gets traction and happens will depend on many factors no doubt.... adskii

3:55pm Mon 17 Feb 14

DOEPUBLIC says...

Disgraceful, cosmetic change when bus services are being cut.
Disgraceful, cosmetic change when bus services are being cut. DOEPUBLIC

4:07pm Mon 17 Feb 14

adskii says...

Is it just cosmetic though?
Is it just cosmetic though? adskii

11:21am Tue 18 Feb 14

BewdleyBugle says...

I would imagine that this regeneration will be a capital project, so it's not as if it is money that could be spent on services (buses, social care, etc.) instead.

I think adskii is spot on about Worcester Steet - it's not going to be possible to rescue it (although I doubt the council can say this out loud). There is far too much low quality retail space for a town of Kidderminster's size, and given the different ways in which people now shop, it would be better to change the street's use entirely.

If the proposed redevelopment draws more Weavers Wharf shoppers through to the old town centre, so much the better. I'd also like to see the Town Hall put in the hands of a professional events management company - it's hardly a decent entertainment venue as it stands and given budget cuts it's not exactly a core council service (or am I missing something?)
I would imagine that this regeneration will be a capital project, so it's not as if it is money that could be spent on services (buses, social care, etc.) instead. I think adskii is spot on about Worcester Steet - it's not going to be possible to rescue it (although I doubt the council can say this out loud). There is far too much low quality retail space for a town of Kidderminster's size, and given the different ways in which people now shop, it would be better to change the street's use entirely. If the proposed redevelopment draws more Weavers Wharf shoppers through to the old town centre, so much the better. I'd also like to see the Town Hall put in the hands of a professional events management company - it's hardly a decent entertainment venue as it stands and given budget cuts it's not exactly a core council service (or am I missing something?) BewdleyBugle

11:37am Tue 18 Feb 14

adskii says...

Part of the WFDC plan is to bring more people into the town during the evening. Worcester Street could be the place to start this. There is of course a fine line between making the town an alcohol crazed place and a family friendly venue during the evening. I don't think Kidderminster has an outdoor evening event in the town centre on the annual calendar (unless I've missed it?).
Part of the WFDC plan is to bring more people into the town during the evening. Worcester Street could be the place to start this. There is of course a fine line between making the town an alcohol crazed place and a family friendly venue during the evening. I don't think Kidderminster has an outdoor evening event in the town centre on the annual calendar (unless I've missed it?). adskii

2:29pm Tue 18 Feb 14

DOEPUBLIC says...

BewdleyBugle wrote:
I would imagine that this regeneration will be a capital project, so it's not as if it is money that could be spent on services (buses, social care, etc.) instead.

I think adskii is spot on about Worcester Steet - it's not going to be possible to rescue it (although I doubt the council can say this out loud). There is far too much low quality retail space for a town of Kidderminster's size, and given the different ways in which people now shop, it would be better to change the street's use entirely.

If the proposed redevelopment draws more Weavers Wharf shoppers through to the old town centre, so much the better. I'd also like to see the Town Hall put in the hands of a professional events management company - it's hardly a decent entertainment venue as it stands and given budget cuts it's not exactly a core council service (or am I missing something?)
Same recycled suggestion. Note how Ludlow manages in the same retail climate. Demarcation of capital surely doesn't mean a myopic outlook.
Cosmetic, as in a makeover to change appearances. Developers and planners setting the agenda rather the community.
[quote][p][bold]BewdleyBugle[/bold] wrote: I would imagine that this regeneration will be a capital project, so it's not as if it is money that could be spent on services (buses, social care, etc.) instead. I think adskii is spot on about Worcester Steet - it's not going to be possible to rescue it (although I doubt the council can say this out loud). There is far too much low quality retail space for a town of Kidderminster's size, and given the different ways in which people now shop, it would be better to change the street's use entirely. If the proposed redevelopment draws more Weavers Wharf shoppers through to the old town centre, so much the better. I'd also like to see the Town Hall put in the hands of a professional events management company - it's hardly a decent entertainment venue as it stands and given budget cuts it's not exactly a core council service (or am I missing something?)[/p][/quote]Same recycled suggestion. Note how Ludlow manages in the same retail climate. Demarcation of capital surely doesn't mean a myopic outlook. Cosmetic, as in a makeover to change appearances. Developers and planners setting the agenda rather the community. DOEPUBLIC

3:17pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Barefoot and different says...

We need Jobs and more shops to be opened not fancy brickwork and pavement painting!
We need Jobs and more shops to be opened not fancy brickwork and pavement painting! Barefoot and different

3:20pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Barefoot and different says...

GlenFiddick wrote:
At least it will create a better environment for those excuses for women who sit outside the town hall, swig their Crucial Brew and swear at and abuse passers by.
Thats No way to talk about the local council!
[quote][p][bold]GlenFiddick[/bold] wrote: At least it will create a better environment for those excuses for women who sit outside the town hall, swig their Crucial Brew and swear at and abuse passers by.[/p][/quote]Thats No way to talk about the local council! Barefoot and different

3:30pm Tue 18 Feb 14

adskii says...

Barefoot and different wrote:
We need Jobs and more shops to be opened not fancy brickwork and pavement painting!
But what's the point of opening shops and putting jobs in them if you can't attract people into the town to spend in those shops? They'll just close the shops down, which is exactly what's happened.
[quote][p][bold]Barefoot and different[/bold] wrote: We need Jobs and more shops to be opened not fancy brickwork and pavement painting![/p][/quote]But what's the point of opening shops and putting jobs in them if you can't attract people into the town to spend in those shops? They'll just close the shops down, which is exactly what's happened. adskii

3:31pm Tue 18 Feb 14

adskii says...

DOEPUBLIC wrote:
BewdleyBugle wrote:
I would imagine that this regeneration will be a capital project, so it's not as if it is money that could be spent on services (buses, social care, etc.) instead.

I think adskii is spot on about Worcester Steet - it's not going to be possible to rescue it (although I doubt the council can say this out loud). There is far too much low quality retail space for a town of Kidderminster's size, and given the different ways in which people now shop, it would be better to change the street's use entirely.

If the proposed redevelopment draws more Weavers Wharf shoppers through to the old town centre, so much the better. I'd also like to see the Town Hall put in the hands of a professional events management company - it's hardly a decent entertainment venue as it stands and given budget cuts it's not exactly a core council service (or am I missing something?)
Same recycled suggestion. Note how Ludlow manages in the same retail climate. Demarcation of capital surely doesn't mean a myopic outlook.
Cosmetic, as in a makeover to change appearances. Developers and planners setting the agenda rather the community.
But Ludlow is more affluent than Kidderminster.

How is the community supposed to set the agenda?If you asked the "community" you'd get hundreds of different answers and it would be debated for years.
[quote][p][bold]DOEPUBLIC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BewdleyBugle[/bold] wrote: I would imagine that this regeneration will be a capital project, so it's not as if it is money that could be spent on services (buses, social care, etc.) instead. I think adskii is spot on about Worcester Steet - it's not going to be possible to rescue it (although I doubt the council can say this out loud). There is far too much low quality retail space for a town of Kidderminster's size, and given the different ways in which people now shop, it would be better to change the street's use entirely. If the proposed redevelopment draws more Weavers Wharf shoppers through to the old town centre, so much the better. I'd also like to see the Town Hall put in the hands of a professional events management company - it's hardly a decent entertainment venue as it stands and given budget cuts it's not exactly a core council service (or am I missing something?)[/p][/quote]Same recycled suggestion. Note how Ludlow manages in the same retail climate. Demarcation of capital surely doesn't mean a myopic outlook. Cosmetic, as in a makeover to change appearances. Developers and planners setting the agenda rather the community.[/p][/quote]But Ludlow is more affluent than Kidderminster. How is the community supposed to set the agenda?If you asked the "community" you'd get hundreds of different answers and it would be debated for years. adskii

11:07pm Tue 18 Feb 14

DOEPUBLIC says...

adskii wrote:
DOEPUBLIC wrote:
BewdleyBugle wrote:
I would imagine that this regeneration will be a capital project, so it's not as if it is money that could be spent on services (buses, social care, etc.) instead.

I think adskii is spot on about Worcester Steet - it's not going to be possible to rescue it (although I doubt the council can say this out loud). There is far too much low quality retail space for a town of Kidderminster's size, and given the different ways in which people now shop, it would be better to change the street's use entirely.

If the proposed redevelopment draws more Weavers Wharf shoppers through to the old town centre, so much the better. I'd also like to see the Town Hall put in the hands of a professional events management company - it's hardly a decent entertainment venue as it stands and given budget cuts it's not exactly a core council service (or am I missing something?)
Same recycled suggestion. Note how Ludlow manages in the same retail climate. Demarcation of capital surely doesn't mean a myopic outlook.
Cosmetic, as in a makeover to change appearances. Developers and planners setting the agenda rather the community.
But Ludlow is more affluent than Kidderminster.

How is the community supposed to set the agenda?If you asked the "community" you'd get hundreds of different answers and it would be debated for years.
Ludlow has chosen to go slower.

http://www.slowfoodl
udlow.org.uk/
A market town the same as ours, but choosing to celebrate the qualities in life that all can share. Thinking pro-actively. The Wyre Forest is a very capable community. You seem to confirm that the politicians have no idea how to engage the community in consultations. In fact that they dare not because they may get too many answers. Listening could be a good place to start. Daring to have a real conversation.
The Health review shows it is possible.
[quote][p][bold]adskii[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DOEPUBLIC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BewdleyBugle[/bold] wrote: I would imagine that this regeneration will be a capital project, so it's not as if it is money that could be spent on services (buses, social care, etc.) instead. I think adskii is spot on about Worcester Steet - it's not going to be possible to rescue it (although I doubt the council can say this out loud). There is far too much low quality retail space for a town of Kidderminster's size, and given the different ways in which people now shop, it would be better to change the street's use entirely. If the proposed redevelopment draws more Weavers Wharf shoppers through to the old town centre, so much the better. I'd also like to see the Town Hall put in the hands of a professional events management company - it's hardly a decent entertainment venue as it stands and given budget cuts it's not exactly a core council service (or am I missing something?)[/p][/quote]Same recycled suggestion. Note how Ludlow manages in the same retail climate. Demarcation of capital surely doesn't mean a myopic outlook. Cosmetic, as in a makeover to change appearances. Developers and planners setting the agenda rather the community.[/p][/quote]But Ludlow is more affluent than Kidderminster. How is the community supposed to set the agenda?If you asked the "community" you'd get hundreds of different answers and it would be debated for years.[/p][/quote]Ludlow has chosen to go slower. http://www.slowfoodl udlow.org.uk/ A market town the same as ours, but choosing to celebrate the qualities in life that all can share. Thinking pro-actively. The Wyre Forest is a very capable community. You seem to confirm that the politicians have no idea how to engage the community in consultations. In fact that they dare not because they may get too many answers. Listening could be a good place to start. Daring to have a real conversation. The Health review shows it is possible. DOEPUBLIC

6:11am Wed 19 Feb 14

BewdleyBugle says...

Ludlow is not a very good comparison. It is more affluent than Kidderminster, and there are few other retail choices for local people out there. We have to compete with Birmingham and the Black Country on our doorstep. What they do well (and we might try to emulate) is to make it a destination with an identity. Ludlow's is food; I'm just not sure what Kidderminster's would be.

Communities can set an agenda, but it's developers who have the cash (the council certainly don't). Local leadership is required to bring the two together. Do we have it? The council seem to be in two minds about the future of the town centre - proposing developments like this and the extension of Weavers Wharf on the one hand, hollowing out the town by removing council offices and the leisure centre on the other.
Ludlow is not a very good comparison. It is more affluent than Kidderminster, and there are few other retail choices for local people out there. We have to compete with Birmingham and the Black Country on our doorstep. What they do well (and we might try to emulate) is to make it a destination with an identity. Ludlow's is food; I'm just not sure what Kidderminster's would be. Communities can set an agenda, but it's developers who have the cash (the council certainly don't). Local leadership is required to bring the two together. Do we have it? The council seem to be in two minds about the future of the town centre - proposing developments like this and the extension of Weavers Wharf on the one hand, hollowing out the town by removing council offices and the leisure centre on the other. BewdleyBugle

9:35am Wed 19 Feb 14

adskii says...

When you hear Ludlow, you think countryside and food - I agree that it's formed an identity. When you say Kidderminster, people generally think carpets. Not so inspiring.
With this proposed square they are trying to bring in the Rowland Hill link. Although a proud history it's probably not going to inspire too many people to visit the town.
My opinion is that they should work around the river and canal (which is what they seem to be doing) and make it a more cosmopolitan destination, i.e. it's the largest town in Wyre Forest and has good attractions nearby in Safari Park, Severn Valley Railway and the Wyre Forest itself to name a few. Therefore try and make it the place where people base themselves when visiting the area.
When you hear Ludlow, you think countryside and food - I agree that it's formed an identity. When you say Kidderminster, people generally think carpets. Not so inspiring. With this proposed square they are trying to bring in the Rowland Hill link. Although a proud history it's probably not going to inspire too many people to visit the town. My opinion is that they should work around the river and canal (which is what they seem to be doing) and make it a more cosmopolitan destination, i.e. it's the largest town in Wyre Forest and has good attractions nearby in Safari Park, Severn Valley Railway and the Wyre Forest itself to name a few. Therefore try and make it the place where people base themselves when visiting the area. adskii

10:16am Wed 19 Feb 14

DOEPUBLIC says...

You both miss the point. Ludlow isn't just about food. Technology and the modern age has not been seen to he the only answer. Is competing with Birmingham and Merry Hill realistic ? The reality is the transition from carpet factories has been poorly managed. Sadly, also with the myopia of seeing the town as a museum of it's past or and entertainment space for visitors. Why does the town have to stamp one identity on itself. Let's have the courage to pool our creativity and think outside the box. Surrendering to retail parks and supermarkets is not the only way.
You both miss the point. Ludlow isn't just about food. Technology and the modern age has not been seen to he the only answer. Is competing with Birmingham and Merry Hill realistic ? The reality is the transition from carpet factories has been poorly managed. Sadly, also with the myopia of seeing the town as a museum of it's past or and entertainment space for visitors. Why does the town have to stamp one identity on itself. Let's have the courage to pool our creativity and think outside the box. Surrendering to retail parks and supermarkets is not the only way. DOEPUBLIC

10:36am Wed 19 Feb 14

DOEPUBLIC says...

http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Slow_moveme
nt
http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Slow_moveme nt DOEPUBLIC

11:31am Wed 19 Feb 14

BewdleyBugle says...

I've not missed your point, and thanks for the link to an image of a sloth ;-)

If there is a growth area of activity in the town centre, it's probably education and skills - the addition of the Academy in the Piano Building and whatever might come if/when the college becomes part of Newcastle College Group. Perhaps there is something to be said about placing the focus on learning and young people. I think it needs to be something other than just standard retail shopping, another reason to live/work/visit there.
I've not missed your point, and thanks for the link to an image of a sloth ;-) If there is a growth area of activity in the town centre, it's probably education and skills - the addition of the Academy in the Piano Building and whatever might come if/when the college becomes part of Newcastle College Group. Perhaps there is something to be said about placing the focus on learning and young people. I think it needs to be something other than just standard retail shopping, another reason to live/work/visit there. BewdleyBugle

3:40pm Wed 19 Feb 14

DOEPUBLIC says...

BewdleyBugle wrote:
I've not missed your point, and thanks for the link to an image of a sloth ;-)

If there is a growth area of activity in the town centre, it's probably education and skills - the addition of the Academy in the Piano Building and whatever might come if/when the college becomes part of Newcastle College Group. Perhaps there is something to be said about placing the focus on learning and young people. I think it needs to be something other than just standard retail shopping, another reason to live/work/visit there.
But you used the phrase previously of 'Ludlow is not a very good comparison. It is more affluent than Kidderminster,'

Missing the point of the comparison, clearly seeing food as the focus.
Engagement with the sloth picture and not the text shows further clear choices of disconnection.

I am startled that you see education as a growth area, when in reality it is attempting to make up a deficit. Finally using the Piano building space could be regarded in the same manner.

To focus on the aspirations of the next generation is a healthy line of thought, so why not just involve the schools in the area in a project to identify each individuals hopes and dreams first the area. Stimulating, hopefully, adults to reconnect the community in a healthy way that safeguards the futures of us all.
[quote][p][bold]BewdleyBugle[/bold] wrote: I've not missed your point, and thanks for the link to an image of a sloth ;-) If there is a growth area of activity in the town centre, it's probably education and skills - the addition of the Academy in the Piano Building and whatever might come if/when the college becomes part of Newcastle College Group. Perhaps there is something to be said about placing the focus on learning and young people. I think it needs to be something other than just standard retail shopping, another reason to live/work/visit there.[/p][/quote]But you used the phrase previously of 'Ludlow is not a very good comparison. It is more affluent than Kidderminster,' Missing the point of the comparison, clearly seeing food as the focus. Engagement with the sloth picture and not the text shows further clear choices of disconnection. I am startled that you see education as a growth area, when in reality it is attempting to make up a deficit. Finally using the Piano building space could be regarded in the same manner. To focus on the aspirations of the next generation is a healthy line of thought, so why not just involve the schools in the area in a project to identify each individuals hopes and dreams first the area. Stimulating, hopefully, adults to reconnect the community in a healthy way that safeguards the futures of us all. DOEPUBLIC

3:43pm Wed 19 Feb 14

DOEPUBLIC says...

'first the area' should read for the area.
'first the area' should read for the area. DOEPUBLIC

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