Town centre improvement plans approved

Plans to improve and enhance five town centres within the Malvern Hills District have been approved.

Following extensive consultation and stakeholder engagement the ambitious plans were approved on Tuesday 24 May by Malvern Hills District Council's Executive Committee.

The town centre plans propose an extensive programme of projects that could help support the economic development and growth of five town centres over the next ten years. Town centres benefitting from the plans are Great Malvern, Barnards Green, Malvern Link, Tenbury Wells and Upton upon Severn.

The plans were formed following a consultation which took place between September 2021 and January 2022, the consultation included direct engagement of stakeholders across all five towns, together with an online survey, capturing views of over 1500 businesses, residents and visitors.

Other organisations across the district played a key role in its development, including town councils, local district and county council members, local businesses, community and voluntary organisations and the Council will work with them on individual projects to secure delivery.

Funding for individual projects will come from the Levelling Up Fund, Councils Economic Recovery Reserve, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and will seek to lever in external contributions wherever possible.

The plans provide a detailed programme to help support the growth and development of all five town centres, key projects have been grouped under themes of infrastructure, transport/accessibility, promotion/tourism, offer/experience, and partnership/community. Projects include:

  • Shop front refurbishments
  • Public realm enhancement
  • Improved signage and parking facilities
  • Improving traffic flows alongside calming measures
  • Improve cycle facilities and E-bike hire
  • Redevelopment of underutilised buildings and land
  • Promotion of the town centre offer
  • Supporting the development of key attractions and town centre assets such as Malvern Theatres

Cllr Daniel Walton, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Tourism at Malvern Hills District Council, said: "Our town centres play an increasingly important role in the economic and community life of the Malvern Hills district. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the high street, and there is a need for revitalisation, regeneration and re-purposing of our town centres.

"Improvements will not only benefit residents and visitors, but also encourage engagement and use by the wider community. These plans, together with strong partnership working will ensure our towns continue to thrive now and in the future."

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