A block of retail units in Kidderminster town centre has been purchased by Wyre Forest District Council for £1m in a bid to boost regeneration and raise vital income to support local services.

The council has bought 17-18  High Street, currently occupied by St Richard’s Hospice and 77-84 Worcester Street, currently occupied by Card Factory, CEX, Ultra Vapour and Kemp Hospice.

The purchase has been made as part of the council’s Capital Portfolio Strategy, agreed in May 2018, to acquire investments that support regeneration and the local economy and help raise extra income that the council can use to support the delivery of services.

Councillor Marcus Hart, Leader of Wyre Forest District Council said:

“I’m delighted to be able to announce the council’s first investment through its Capital Portfolio Fund in Kidderminster town centre.

“This represents a further £1m investment by the council demonstrating our continued commitment to Kidderminster town centre, following on from the £2m public realm improvements, the proposed opening up of Worcester Street and bringing forward the Lion Fields development proposals. This will also add to the council’s income streams that it can invest back into our local services for the benefit of all of our residents and businesses”

The council initially announced its intention to bring forward new investments as part of its medium term financial strategy in 2017/18 and it refreshed its Capital Portfolio Strategy in May 2018 which earmarked £25m funded through its prudential borrowing capabilities.

Councillor Ian Hardiman, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration said:

“The council signalled its intention to invest in the success of Kidderminster town centre since the State of the Area debate in 2012 and has delivered on its commitment.

“When these shop units became available we took the opportunity to invest as it further supports the regeneration work we are doing in the town and it met our investment strategy criteria. The council has agreed to consider investment across the geography of the Local Enterprise Partnerships that we are members of; but it is really good news that the first of our investments is within our district.”

The council is a member of both the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.