WYRE Forest District Council will apply for funding to 'transform' the eastern side of Kidderminster town centre to potentially include new homes, offices or a public open space.

The council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee will discuss the final phase of the Lion Fields transformation on Thursday (February 7), following a market assessment of the area surrounding the Bromsgrove Street car park.

Consultants One Creative Ltd have completed feasibility studies for 'Parcel Four' of the redevelopment, looking at potential residential and commercial developments, environmental improvements and incorporating a new public open space in an effort to 'create a new identity' for this part of the town centre and construct a new link between Bromsgrove Street and Worcester Street.

The assessment found the site would be 'ideal' for a care home and identified some demand for office space, but concluded that residential use would be the most viable option.

Two potential avenues were identified, the first being 70 residential flats and a 170-space public car park, and the second featuring 69 flats, a public car park with 161 spaces, public open space and the creation of a direct link to Worcester Street by demolishing existing vacant units.

But the council will need to find external funding to turn the vision into a reality, and will therefore need to bid for money from the government's new 'Future High Streets Fund' to fund the works.

In the meantime, Wyre Forest Council will be soft-market testing the site to assess the appetite from private sector companies who may wish to invest in the scheme.

Cabinet member for economic regeneration and planning, Councillor Chris Rogers, said: “We see this latest phase of Lion Fields as the final piece in the jigsaw and a key step in reconnecting this part of the town centre through the creation of a new and attractive space linking the Lion Fields area with Worcester Street where work is already underway on a £2m improvement programme.

“The plans we are considering are visionary and would provide a complete transformation of this part of town centre, offering new public spaces and diversifying the offer. However, the delivery of the vision will not be met by the private sector alone and will require the public sector to take the lead.

“With this in mind, the council will be working with public partners and private sector companies to bring about this transformation in partnership and we hope to secure funding from the Government’s new High Streets Fund initiative in order to continue with the transformation of Kidderminster town centre.

“This new funding stream was only announced in December and our regeneration team is working hard to pull together a compelling bid for the Government to invest in the future of the town and to help us deliver our ambitions.”

Once the plans have been agreed by Wyre Forest's Cabinet, they will then form the basis of the Future High Streets Fund bid, which is set to be submitted in March.