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Community News - February/March 21

Community News From Around Our Area

Masterplan Will Help Reshape Solihull Town Centre, Says Mayor Andy Street

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has welcomed a new masterplan for Solihull Town Centre, describing it as “dynamic and forward-thinking”.

The updated masterplan could see the delivery of up to 1,200 homes and bring more than 4,000 new jobs to the town centre, providing a framework for investment and development for the next 15 years.

Mr Street, who leads the West Midlands Combined Authority, said, “As someone who grew up in Solihull, I know just what an important role the town centre plays in the life and economy of the borough.

“The council’s masterplan sets out a dynamic and forward-thinking future vision that will help ensure Solihull continues to be one of the region’s flagship town centres.”

The masterplan ensures that future developments respond to the Council’s priorities, around economic growth, health and wellbeing, sustainability, climate change, transport, safety and security. It would see 1,178 new homes built, along with office space and retail, leisure and active ground floor space in the town centre.

Solihull Council say the 2020 Masterplan has been informed by extensive consultation, engagement and research and responds to the known strengths and challenges facing the town. Key features include a major revamp of Solihull railway station, a new multi-storey car park, a new council headquarters and traffic projects. There is also guidance on the future redevelopment of Mell Square and spaces where new housing can be incorporated.

Mr Street said, “Town centres were already facing significant hurdles because of changing shopping habits, but the impact of the pandemic has brought even greater challenges. As we face up to the latest lockdown, this plan provides a way forward.

“The Council is leading by example with its plans to redevelop its own sprawling Civic Centre site into homes. I firmly believe we need more people living in our town and city centres not only to ensure they can survive into the future, but also to take pressure off the Green Belt when it comes to building new homes.”

Solihull council leader Ian Courts said, “There are significant challenges facing all sectors of the economy at this time, but our Town Centre Masterplan sets out a roadmap for the continued prosperity of the town centre, helping attract future inward investment and build on Solihull’s position as a key regional wealth creator.

“Solihull Town Centre benefits from a proven track record of attracting international occupiers and investment, supporting a strong commercial and residential market.

“The Council is determined to support our retail and commercial centres by being an active partner in their future. This is more important than ever in the current climate as all sectors plan their reset and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Picture caption: West Midlands Mayor Andy Street with Solihull MP Julian Knight and council leader Ian Courts in the town centre