Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street has today welcomed the launch of the new partnership and award of £150,000 funding to revitalise Sutton Coldfield Town Centre.
The Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Centre Regeneration Partnership (TCRP) was launched with funding committed to delivering the first part of a masterplan to regenerate the town centre.
The partnership has been set up and led by Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council and involves businesses and local authorities including the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).
From left to right: Mike Bushell, Sutton Coldfield BID, Steve McAleavy, TfWM, Zoe Toft, Folio, Andrew Mitchell MP, Cllr Simon Ward, Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, Stephen Roberts, Sutton Coldfield BID, Katie Hale, Sutton Coldfield Chamber of Commerce, Richard Cowell, Birmingham City Council and Shanaaz Carroll, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership
Once complete, the town centre masterplan will provide an inspirational vision for a sustainable and resilient town centre over the next 15 years, as well as presenting place-making projects for the public and private sectors to deliver. Phase two of the masterplan will provide further detail on how to get the identified place-making projects shovel-ready and crucially drive investment into the town centre.
The Mayor said: “Sutton Coldfield town centre is already a great place to shop, live and work, but there is potential to do much more.
“This new partnership brings together businesses and local authorities to look at plans, such as the new Gateway bus station scheme launched this week, and ensure we make the most of them.
“By all pulling together we can build a bright future for Sutton Coldfield town centre.”
The masterplan is part of the wider town centre support agenda being undertaken by the TCRP.
Other schemes include a proposed £1.5million Heritage Action Zone project for Vesey Gardens, High Street and Mill Street that celebrates and enhances the conservation area, and shorter-term projects aimed at using vacant and underused units across the town centre for community and pop-up purposes.
TfWM is currently consulting over the Sutton Coldfield Gateway plans to create a new bus station and transport hub in the town.
Cllr Simon Ward, TCRP chair and leader of Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, said: “We are delighted that funding has been confirmed for this vital project to guide the reinvention of Royal Sutton Coldfield town centre for the next 50 years.
“Work will now begin in earnest to appoint a skilled consultant to deliver this vision.
“As well as the Town Council’s cash contribution, I would like to thank GBSLEP and Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District for providing funding to get this project moving and all our other stakeholders who have given their time so far.
“All of us are excited to get to work, engage with the residents and businesses of our Royal Town and deliver an ambitious, achievable masterplan for the town centre. We are fortunate to live and work in a great Town we need our town centre to reflect those strengths. The challenges faced by retailers are well documented – we must reshape our town centre and the work starts now.”
Public consultation on the vision and future opportunities for Sutton Coldfield town centre will begin in early 2020 following the appointment of specialist consultants. Funding has been provided in part by Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) as part of their Strategic Economic Plan Enabling Fund.
Tim Pile, chair of GBSLEP, said: “GBSLEP is committed to helping reinvigorate towns and local centres across the region to enable them to fulfil their vital economic and social role.
“We welcome the opportunity to work with partners to commission an exciting vision for the future of Sutton Coldfield town centre and collaboratively develop a long term plan to offer new opportunities for residents, businesses and help attract future investment.”
Sutton Coldfield BID also provided funding alongside the Town Council and GBSLEP.
Stephen Roberts, chair of Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District, said: “We know how important a great town centre experience is to our members, which is why the BID continues to represent businesses as we look to what the future of Sutton Coldfield town centre may be.
The masterplan will kickstart much-needed conversations and we’re confident it will produce a positive, deliverable vision for the town centre that everyone can buy into.”
Partners from the TCRP, chaired by Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, cover a broad range of local stakeholders including Birmingham City Council, Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District, FOLIO and Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. Regional members include Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (GBSLEP), the WMCA and TfWM, as well as major landowners in the town centre.