Wyre Forest District Council has welcomed a Government investment of £20.5m to transform important regeneration sites within Kidderminster town centre.
The grant funding was announced on boxing day by the Secretary of State for Communities, Housing and Local Government, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, and comes from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund. The bid for Kidderminster was shortlisted in July 2019 and is now one of only fifteen projects to receive confirmed full funding at this stage. A further 57 projects have received provisional allocations. The successful bid led by Wyre Forest District Council has secured the fifth largest grant award out of the 72 projects.
Councillor Graham Ballinger, Leader of the Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Kidderminster and a great fillip for the town after a tough year. The Council will now be able to move forward with three major transformational projects to support regeneration of the town through introducing a wider range of uses, which will breathe new life into Kidderminster. As the district’s largest town, the benefit will be felt across the district through construction and other job opportunities, and new commercial and housing provision.”
“Town centres are changing rapidly because of the retrenchment of traditional retail activity, a process that has speeded up as result of the COVID pandemic. This grant award, which is believed to be the largest ever Government grant secured by the District Council, not only recognises the quality of the District Council’s bid and the compelling case for investing in Kidderminster’s future but also means the town will be better placed to adjust to recent changes and exploit new opportunities for its future vibrancy.”
Councillor Fran Oborski, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Planning and Capital Investments, said “I am absolutely delighted that the District Council has secured this grant from the Government which will enable some very important projects to proceed. The hard work of commencing implementation starts next week. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in supporting the bid, including Mark Garnier MP. I particularly wish to pay tribute to Council officers who have secured this success. Ostap Paparega, Head of North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration, has led the bid team and he has been ably supported by many others, including Jon Elmer, Delivery Manager, NWedR and Mike Parker, Corporate Director: Economic Prosperity and Place.”
Ostap Paparega added “It has been a team effort and we’ve worked with a range of consultants and partners to reach this point. As soon as possible in the New Year, we will move forward with work to deliver the vision set out in the bid, including submission of planning applications which will be the subject of public consultation. It’s an exciting time to be working in Wyre Forest and to have the chance to deliver such a major range of economic regeneration and development projects.”
For more information on the news, visit the North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration website here – https://www.nwedr.org.uk/news/posts/2021/january/future-of-kidderminster-s-town-centre/