Wednesbury is seeing in the new year with the news that the majority of residents support the town centre High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) and Active Travel Fund scheme plans.
Sandwell Council announced the results of the consultation that it held at the end of last year, showing that the majority of respondents were in favour of the proposal to create a vibrant and welcoming space in the town.
73 per cent of respondents approve of Market Place becoming a more community focused space and 65 per cent of respondents are supportive of the transport related proposals.
The Wednesbury HSHAZ scheme includes proposals to enlarge the pedestrian space in Market Place and introduce a one-way system, improvements to historic shop fronts within the conservation area, the sustainable renovation of the Wednesbury Clock Tower and an enlarged public realm area that is suitable for events.
Together with pedestrian and highway improvements and the relocation of the current open-air market, the scheme takes into consideration the potential to extend the existing conservation area and number of listed buildings.
The £95m government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme is being delivered by Historic England with the aim of unlocking the potential of high streets across England, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery and breathing new life into it for future generations.
As part of Sandwell Council’s commitment to helping the borough’s struggling high streets and to highlight the historic significance of the area, it has partnered with Historic England to deliver the £3.6m heritage regeneration scheme within Wednesbury.
This will bring funding and opportunities to shop owners, organisations and visitors in Wednesbury town centre.
Following the public consultation, a series of events and activities will also be delivered as part of the community engagement and cultural programme to encourage local stakeholders to not only share their experiences but to also learn about the heritage of Wednesbury.
The council is now looking at how the scheme could be amended to address some of the concerns raised, particularly around the location of disabled parking bays.
Councillor Iqbal Padda, Sandwell’s cabinet member for regeneration and growth said: “I would like to thank the hundreds of people that took the time to give us their views on our plans for Wednesbury. It is encouraging how many people are supportive of our plans and we look forward to being able to implement these changes to make Wednesbury a destination of choice.”
For further information on the proposed Wednesbury scheme please visit the Sandwell Council website.
To find out more about Heritage Action Zone schemes and what they offer visit the Historic England website.