Redditch Borough Council
As part of its overall development plan, Redditch Borough Council (RBC) has an aspiration to revitalise and improve the quality of the district centres of Winyates and Matchborough into safe, well designed places with transformed infrastructure, vitality and usability that improves the quality of local retail and social experiences and a healthy environment for the local community.
Place Partnership (PP) is a public-sector organisation set up to bring about greater efficiencies and maximise value to public sector assets in Worcestershire. Place Partnership was initially enlisted by RBC to appoint a respected design company to conduct feasibility and conceptual masterplanning on this large scale urban regeneration project. RBC took over the commission at a later stage.
Redditch Town Centre was built in the 1960’s with satellite district centres providing housing, employment and community facilities. Winyates and Matchborough are two separate, but closely located, district centres. These are identified for redevelopment by Redditch Borough Council to improve commercial viability of the retail areas and the health and wellbeing of the residents.
One Creative Environments Ltd. (One) was appointed on an initial 3-month project to carry out a feasibility study on these two failing district centres to develop concept designs for their regeneration. This was supported by a rigorous site analysis of each district and the wider neighbourhood and a strategy was developed.
Their commission extended to 18 months to incorporate feedback from a full stakeholder engagement and consultation exercise and to further develop the concept design proposals that included some complex phases of delivery.
Collaborative working was crucial to ensure the community felt engaged and had input into how they would like their community to be shaped in the future. One supported RBC in their five-month public consultation exercise with numerous opportunities for concerns and ideas to be shared. In addition, stakeholder consultation was carefully managed with regular communication being pivotal to its success.
Many challenges were highlighted in the study that included; poor vehicular access and wayfinding, poor quality built environment, limited social opportunity with lack of play facilities, the need for improvements to the shopping experience plus anti-social behaviour.
All stakeholders engaged fully with the proposal to demolish the two existing centres and build two new, vibrant centres with connected and complementary facilities. The proposals were far-reaching to bring positive and transformational change.
The designs were driven by the creation of new public spaces that all new buildings actively fronted onto, encouraging good natural surveillance with new areas for social engagement and a high-quality environment that the local community could be proud of. The regeneration proposals included new roads to greatly improve connectivity, access and footfall, significant new housing, new community facilities for all ages, new public realm and greatly enhanced green spaces with a range of play facilities and outdoor café. For Winyates District Centre, the integration of a new Community Hub and Health Centre was also included.
A phased delivery approach for both District Centre’s was taken to ensure the regeneration does not have an adverse effect on businesses and residents.