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Town centres receive funding boost from GBSLEP

Several towns across Greater Birmingham will receive a funding boost to enhance their town centres and lay the foundations for future growth as part of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) Towns and Local Centres (TLC) Framework.

The latest round of funding, which has come at an even more challenging period of our town centres, will help support multiple projects including Bromsgrove’s Town Centre Plan for 2040 and the Kidderminster Masterplan around Lions Field and Crown House. There is a separate vacant property study to look into temporary uses for disused buildings in Kidderminster.

Schemes for Balsall Common Centre, a feasibility study for the potential redevelopment of government owned assets in Redditch, a regeneration strategy for Uttoxeter and research to understand the opportunities and options for redevelopment in Burntwood town centre have also been granted funds.

The TLC framework has been designed to support smaller, more focused town and local centre projects that add to a distinctive sense of place, developing the communities and local economies that underpin larger-scale investment projects across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull region.

First launched in March 2019, the Towns and Local Centres Framework has already delivered over £500,000 of funding to support projects across the GBSLEP area. Projects funded previously include a connectivity and accessibility study in the Soho Road BID area, a prospectus for Cannock Chase identifying investment and development opportunities, and a study which will update the growth plan for Shirley Town Centre.

Simon Marks, Board Director at GBSLEP, said:

It has never been more critical to plan for the future of our town centres. Thriving, vibrant towns and local centres play a crucial role in the growth and development of the GBSLEP area, providing important social hubs for our communities and high-quality places to live, work and visit.

Even before the Covid-19 outbreak and the huge challenges we all currently face; we knew that our towns and high streets would have to adapt to continue to prosper. Consumer spending habits and the rise of online retail has altered the landscape for the traditional high street. The challenges we face now are even greater as our centres prepare for reopening as well as determining what the future will look like for both town centre users and occupiers. We hope these funds will help shape the future of our local towns and high streets and help them remain competitive as well as places people will continue to visit and invest in.”

The Towns and Local Centres Framework has been developed to act as a guidance document for future investment, setting good practice and broad criteria for future funding.

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