AMBITIOUS plans have been unveiled by the district council to put an end to Bromsgrove being a commuter town and enable it to provide the right employment for its residents.
Deputy leader Coun Karen May, whose portfolio includes economic development, said the aim was to create sustainable, accessible employment sites across the district.
Using the £20million investment fund agreed in September the council hopes to create space for another 25 to 30 businesses in the town, including on land at Buntsford Hill where the authority will work with developers to complete the Bromsgrove Enterprise Park.
“Obviously we need a return on that money but it is more about investing to achieve.”
Coun May said with less Government funding, making Bromsgrove more of an employment town would generate more much-needed revenue for the district.
“We are great at providing workers for businesses in Birmingham and Worcester but we need the right employment opportunities in Bromsgrove so we can offer work to our own residents.”
Coun May said other factors – such as Birmingham’s plans to introduce a congestion charge – could enable Bromsgrove to snap up Second City businesses considering relocating to save their workforce money.
And she added more employment in the town would mean less congestion as people would not need to commute to work.
Statistics show 18 per cent of the Bromsgrove population are under 16, 25 per cent are over 65 but the majority are 30 to 39 years old.
“Those are the people we need to help because a lot of them are leaving the district as they can’t afford to live here.”
Having well-paid jobs and cutting travel costs, particularly high rail fares and petrol prices, would mean those residents would have more money to spend on mortgages or rent.
Plans to build more affordable housing on the former Council House site at Burcot Lane would also help Bromsgrove people, Coun May said.
Coun May said the cash to improve the A38 was welcome but also called for a North Worcestershire strategic transport assessment to look at the whole road infrastructure of Bromsgrove, Redditch, Wyre Forest and travelling between them.
A full town centre business survey will also be conducted in January, asking firms what issues they face and what the council could do to help resolve them.
The possibility of Bromsgrove becoming a Business Improvement District (BID) will also be explored.
“As councillors our job is to do more than sit in the chamber and complain.
“As leaders of the district we will be taking every step to get the best to Bromsgrove.
“We are all only here for a short amount of time and we want to ensure what we leave is a district which is sustainable for the next generation.”
Other related stories:
Former Council House site at Burcot Lane will ‘provide much-needed affordable housing’ – https://bromsgrovestandard.co.uk/news/plans-voted-through-to-develop-former-bromsgrove-council-house-will-provide-much-needed-affordable-housing/