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20th Oct, 2021

New library on the cards as Redditch submits town deal bid seeking up to £25million

Harry Leach 30th Jan, 2021

THE regeneration of Redditch town centre is one step closer to reality after the Borough Council’s investment bid was submitted to central government.

In 2019, Redditch was invited to develop a town deal plan to secure up to £25million in government funding for economic growth and regeneration.

And this week a meeting of the authority’s full council rubber stamped its Town Investment Plan in time for the January 29 deadline, with all parties backing the proposals.

The plan includes transforming Redditch’s railway quarter by developing an integrated multi-modal transport interchange to act as a modern gateway to the town centre.

A new two-storey station building would be built along with two platforms on both sides of Unicorn Hill.

The council is asking for £8.5million to help fund this project and £8million to create a Redditch Digital Manufacturing and Innovation Centre built around the provision of 5G technology and offering flexible workshop and office accommodation.

There is also a plan to demolish and then redevelop the town’s library, with the authority needing £4.13million to do this.

A proposed public square would then be built on the site to help drive footfall to and from the Kingfisher Shopping Centre.

Council Leader Matt Dormer (Con, West) told the meeting that public engagement over the bid had set new records.

“It’s the best engagement this council has ever had when it has done a public opinion,” he said.

“And its also the highest number of engagement for any of the town deals so far, which shows the people of Redditch are truly behind this bid.”

Labour leader Coun Bill Hartnett added that he was pleased with the bid and noted that while knocking down the library may been seen as controversial, he is convinced the council will come up with a great idea for where the new one can go.

Coun Greg Chance (Lab, Central) added: “We welcome this bid. It’s not actual money yet, it’s still a long way off but we are excited by what it could be spent on.”

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