To create a masterplan that demonstrated a scale of development and vision that would attract significant inward investment to Redditch Town Centre by using the public estate as a catalyst.
The vision was to release the land owned by public bodies, by consolidating and relocating office-based services, which would bring efficiencies with reduced running costs while protecting front line services. The available land would then provide a significant private sector investment opportunity that would transform the city centre for future generations and significantly benefit the local economy. At a community level, many services and disconnected areas also required aligning, including the Victorian church/church green at the heart of the town and the challenging design of the road system and prevalent one-way system.
Place Partnership brings together the property and estate management expertise of six public sector authorities. Given One Creative Environments Ltd.’s (One’s) design-led approach and experience of strategic masterplanning and public realm work, Place Partnership knew that One would provide the creativity and knowledge required to produce a strategic, visionary and deliverable plan that addresses the recognised issues but also delves deeper to reveal the full potential of the community.
The vision is to reverse the decline of Redditch Town Centre and make it a vibrant place and exciting destination, breathing new life into the town.
The strategic masterplan designed by One required a holistic approach, with collaboration of a number of parties, and culminated in a plan that will provide a £100m+ private sector investment opportunity.
The design has already secured £5m from the Government’s Growth Fund to act as a catalyst for reconnecting pedestrian routes and intuitive wayfinding, reactivating and improving green public spaces and improving infrastructure and growth opportunities. These include the redevelopment around the train station which in turn will help unlock additional Government funding. The proposals have also addressed the current limitations of the significant one-way system and made provision for circa 735,000 sq ft of office and retail space and around 750 – 900 residential units plus further leisure uses.
A new, purpose built hub has been identified for public services, creating efficiencies without reducing the service offered to the public, and the new pockets of development can now act as a catalyst for further investment, wider regeneration and to maximise value and growth potential.
To support their bid to the Local Growth Fund, and potentially future funding bids, One identified clear quarters in the town with distinct character and use: The Business Quarter; The Railway Gateway; The Cultural/Leisure/Residential Quarter; The Learning Quarter; The Retail Hub and Public Realm.
St. Stephen’s Church Green lies at the heart of the town and is the central focus from which all quarters and public realm radiate. One recommended that the masterplan was hinged around a connected Public Realm Strategy to encompass the wide group of stakeholders and provide the glue that unites the town.
The strategy is pivotal to the wider vision and will be carried out as a series of separately funded schemes, with a phasing masterplan to identify ‘quick wins’ to generate early confidence and future investment in each ‘Quarter’. This will minimise disruption during the construction stage and allow the town to remain operational to benefit the local economy. It will also permit each phase to be implemented as and when funding becomes available.