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Commercial and Cultural Hub Plans Approved

Plans to create a new commercial and cultural hub on the site of the former market hall, were approved by Councillors earlier this week.

The 3-part proposal, which went to Bromsgrove Planning Committee on Monday evening (19 Feb), includes a pavilion providing a multipurpose community asset in an open plan configuration to encourage creative exhibitions, markets, and community use during the day, evenings, and weekends.

The separate commercial building will provide much needed high-quality office space, a new restaurant on the ground floor and a roof top food and drink outlet, all adding to the night time economy and bringing more people to the high street.

Surrounding these buildings will be the open public space which includes opening-up and re-naturalising the Spadesbourne Brook, public seating and landscaping.

Designed by ONE Creative environments (ONE), which has a HQ in Worcester, and project managed by Arcadis, a large proportion of the project is funded by government cash following a successful bid by Bromsgrove District Council and North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration (NWEDR).

Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr. Sue Baxter, who is also Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “The approval of plans for the Former Market Hall by the Planning Committee this week is an exciting milestone and I want to thank everyone who took part in the consultation and gave their views. This development receiving planning permission means that the exciting part can begin now and is a vital step towards the future regeneration of Bromsgrove.”

In October 2021 £14.5m of Levelling Up Funds awarded to the Council brought the plans for the former market hall site and other separate town centre enhancements a step closer.

LUF monies can only be spent on the projects highlighted in the bid which includes the former market hall site. Earlier this year the plans were revealed to the public as part of the consultation process.

Director of ONE Creative environments, Mark Martin, said: “Thank you to everyone that has been involved in the project, taken part in the consultation and helped to shape the design.”

“We are delighted that this exciting new development can now move forward and build on the positive legacy of the Bird Box. We pride ourselves on innovative, sustainable design and the opening up of the culvert will also increase biodiversity and create a high-quality public realm destination for everyone to enjoy.”

The development will create better connectivity between and within key retail and leisure sites and the whole development will achieve a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating (BREEAM is the world's leading science-based method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings).

Materials for the buildings are long-lasting and the public realm, although a site for biodiversity with lots of greenery, has also been designed with anti-social behaviour in mind, creating a safe space for everyone to enjoy.

The next step will be for a contractor to be appointed who will make the vision a reality on site.

Arcadis Project Manager, Andy Field, said: “We are delighted that the project has received approval from the Council’s planning committee and would like to thank our partners and local stakeholders for their support throughout the design and consultation process.

“Delivered by our Birmingham office, we are confident that the development will bring significant benefits to Bromsgrove by drawing people to the town centre and providing high-quality community assets that residents can be proud of.

“We are looking forward to supporting the development through the next phases including appointing a main contractor, construction and unveiling this exciting town centre regeneration project for the heart of Bromsgrove.”

For the last four years BirdBox, an event and community space also designed by ONE, has been utilised at the Former Market Hall site and is set to be replaced by the new development now that the plans have been approved.

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Karen May, said: “Having been at the opening of BirdBox I am sad it’s the end of an era – however this new development will create the opportunity to hold and host a large variety of different events, no longer hampered by the whims of the Great British weather. The new and improved community and events space will be a welcome addition to the town centre. Now that planning permission has been granted a whole new exciting chapter opens for Bromsgrove.”

Plans were submitted by NWedR on behalf of Bromsgrove District Council for determination by the Local Planning Authority and approval of these plans now mean that works could start as early as Summer 2024.

More information can be found here or follow the Council’s social media for more details, including common FAQs about the project.


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