20th Mar, 2019

Ambitious plans put together to revamp the centre of Studley

Ross Crawford 11th Mar, 2019 Updated: 11th Mar, 2019

AMBITIOUS plans to revamp the centre of Studley are being put together by district chiefs.

The aim is to bid for millions of development money made through the government’s £675m Future High Streets Fund.

There is up to £25m per bid available, with pots of money in the £5m to £10m the most likely grants to be awarded.

In addition, further investment could come from the West Midlands Combined Authority.

A meeting between Studley’s two district councillors – Hazel Wright (Lib Dem) and Justin Kerridge (Con) – last month saw ideas discussed with Stratford’s head of planning policy John Careford.

Coun Kerridge has talked of two possibilities, depending on the money awarded should Studley win the bid.

The ‘quite big vision’ includes tackling the village centre issue and creating affordable start-up premises for businesses by linking the High Street to Alcester Road via a public space plus a business centre in the Millennium Square area.

“The bid would aim to widen the route up Needle Close to Pool Road car park, making it attractive for cyclists and pedestrians with added trees and benches,” he said.

Coun Wright added: “Our major problem is a lack of diversity. We have far too many takeaways, in fact it’s a positive disincentive to use the centre if you’re not buying fast food, so we have to think in a different way, we can’t turn the clock back to how things were 20 years ago.”

The ‘bigger vision’ could include buying the empty Co-op site, the old bed shop and Steel Pie Cafe and building new houses, parking and an event space, public areas, business start-ups, art and social facilities.

“It’s a vision both Hazel and I have talked about with the district council, about a big project, a masterplan where we could reinvigorate the whole of the centre of Studley,” said Coun Kerridge.

Plans will need to be quickly drawn up and partners engaged as ‘statements of interest’ have to be with the government by March 22.

The parish council is expected to discuss the bid on Tuesday.

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