A DESIGNER who founded the world famous fashion brand Red or Dead has been commissioned to create a new vision for the future of Kidderminster.

Marketplace expert Wayne Hemingway says he is paying the town back for the support given to him 40 years ago.

His company, Hemingway Designs, won a successful bid which will allow them to work with Wyre Forest District Council on a new town centre project.

Mr Hemingway, aged 59, visited the town on Tuesday to discuss ideas with leaders and to take a trip through the place he often visited in the 1980s.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Wayne Hemingway discussing ideas with his team outside Kidderminster Town HallWayne Hemingway discussing ideas with his team outside Kidderminster Town Hall

After moving to London from the north of England, the designer became a part of the club culture scene. He started selling Dr Martens around the country and bought stock from a wholesaler in Kidderminster.

Mr Hemingway told The Shuttle: “I got to know Kidderminster quite well. I was here every two weeks or so.

“We would load up with Dr Martens – we were the only ones doing it.”

Now, Wyre Forest District Council is working on a new purpose for the town centre and is looking at how it can adapt to unprecedented market changes.

It is working on a model which can be adapted for all the town centres across Wyre Forest.

The council says it has noted massive changes in shopping habits, global trends and what attracts people to town centres.

Kidderminster has been particularly affected, the council said, and is also now feeling the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some major high street retailers have already indicated that they will not be reopening in the town.

Read more:

Mr Hemingway and his team will now be formulating a vision for the town which will consider these changes and directly involve the community in the planning process.

“We entered a bid to come up with a vision for the future of Kidderminster town centre and we happily won it," he said. "We’re going through the biggest societal change in how people live their lives and use their town centres.

“Everybody has ideas – our first job is to come up with a series of questions to try and test out ideas for the public.

“We’d like to get a few thousand people to fill in a short survey – we hope to get that out within a few weeks.

“We genuinely enjoy collaboration, and the town will get more out of it.”