Government funding for Worcestershire redevelopment

One Public Estate Published Friday, 15th February 2019

Worcestershire is being awarded £410,000 to pave the way for new development plans across the county.

The investment was announced by Central Government this week as part of the One Public Estate Programme, first launched in 2013.

The programme ensures the better use of public sector land and property, improving services and freeing up space for new homes.

The latest round of the programme will see money and support being given to more than 100 local public sector partnerships across England to bring forward proposals for a range of new projects on public sector sites.

The investment for Worcestershire includes delivering new housing and regeneration around Redditch Rail Station, as part of the Rail Quarter development. The money will support major transformation across two district centres in Redditch delivering new housing, service alignment, along with regeneration around the station bringing together Network Rail and Local Authority land, as part of the their Rail Quarter development.

In Worcester, the funding will bring together Local Authority partners and the Environment Agency to release land assets on Riverside for housing, replacement car parking and commercial development whilst ensuring flood mitigation actions are introduced across the city. The redevelopment work will form part of the city's new masterplan.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, Leader of Worcestershire County Council, said: "It's great news that Worcestershire is getting £410,000 through the OPE programme.

"The funding will allow us to unlock key sites in both Redditch and Worcester and get better use out of the land."

Redditch Borough Council Leader Councillor Matt Dormer said: “Town centres are increasingly becoming more about lifestyle and leisure and less about shopping for things that people tend to get online instead these days.

“We need to reconfigure our town centre to adapt to this massive change and this money is just the start of this process. But what excites me most about this money is how we can use it to fully engage the public in where Redditch goes next."

Councillor Lucy Hodgson, Chair of Worcester City Council’s Place and Economic Development Sub-committee, added: “We welcome this funding award, which makes an important contribution towards making the vision for the future of Worcester set out in our draft masterplan a reality.

"This funding from the Government will  be used to investigate the feasibility of new development at sites close to the river. It will help us undertake studies on flooding risk, the archaeology of these sites and the impact on our city’s heritage of any development there.”

Hayley Deighton from the Environment Agency said: "We’re really pleased to be working with Worcester City Council and other partners to test a new way of working around future place shaping in Worcester city, ensuring a co-ordinated approach to the planning, prioritisation and delivery of water infrastructure as part of the sustainable economic growth plans. We’re excited to see how the approach can be developed and expanded to benefit other areas."

The One Public Estate programme is a joint initiative between the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and the Local Government Association. It now covers 95 per cent of all local authority areas in England.