A MAJOR new initiative to turn an abandoned piece of land in the town centre into a publicly owned, free to use play zone has been launched.
And residents and local businesses are being urged to play their part – and perhaps leave a lasting memorial to a loved one at the same time.
The plans for the land – the site of the old covered market at the back of Debenhams – will be unveiled by Redditch Town Centre Partnership (TCP) this Saturday, June 6 in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre.
As well as featuring equipment aimed at younger children – such as the traditional slides and climbing equipment etc. – the play zone would also be a multi-sport and exercise area for teenagers.
The project is estimated to cost £110,000 which will need to be funded entirely from sponsorship, public donations and grants.
For a set cost people will be able to have their name, or that of a loved one, engraved on a brick which will form part of the play area and remain there forever as piece of Redditch history.
Opportunities will also be available for businesses to sponsor certain pieces of play equipment.
There will also be wristbands for sale, so residents can visibly show their support for the scheme.
The project forms part of the legacy of last year’s 50th anniversary celebrations of Redditch as a new town. Redditch Borough Council, which owns the site, has agreed to lease the site to the TCP for a nominal rent, as long as the money can be raised.
The initiative comes after extensive research into what young people want in Redditch and what could make a lasting legacy for the town, however shoppers will be able to put their own views across via post-it notes and whiteboard on Saturday.
Ken Williams, Redditch TCP director and manager of the Kingfisher Shopping Centre said: “This is the chance for Redditch to create something truly unique. However we can only deliver this project with the support of the business community and residents. Last year the community came together to mark the 50th anniversary for Redditch as a new town and we hope they will do so again to get behind the play zone and make it happen.”