27th Apr, 2017

Shirley publishes Draft Economic Plan to make town 'vibrant, distinctive and accessible'

Sarah Mason 12th Feb, 2017 Updated: 13th Feb, 2017

MAKING historic landmarks more visable, finding alternate ways to improve crossing points in the town centre and creating a Business Improvement District (BID).

These are just some of the strategies Solihull Council has highlighted as part of the Draft Economic Plan for Shirley.

The plan has been produced by the Council in collaboration with the Shirley Town Team, local businesses and stakeholders, in order to deliver a co-ordinated strategy for the area.

It sets out how to achieve a ‘vibrant, distinctive and accessible’ town centre through partnership working, with agreed priorities and a clear framework for action.

The plan proposes five priorities of action to help give the town a boost.

These include defining the town centre, regeneration projects such as the redevelopment of the Powergen building, making the town attractive to shoppers and visitors, business support – creating a Business Improvement District (BID) – and transport and access.

A BID would replace Shirley Town Team, which will not exist from March, and would allow businesses to decide and direct what they want in the area and help increase footfall in Shirley.

The Draft Economic plans recognises issues with transport in Shirley including crossing the A34, which drives through the heart of the town centre, parking issues and the need of a high-quality cycling network in the area.

Coun Ken Hawkins, Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration, welcomed the draft Shirley Economic Plan.

He said: “Nationally, the traditional high street faces various challenges including the growth of online retailing and competition from out of town developments.

“Shirley Town Centre plays a critical role in Solihull’s economy, supporting business and employment growth.

“We must maximise the benefits of future investment, and also respond to the challenges facing the town centre and the opportunities available

“I urge local residents and businesses to take the time to read the draft Shirley Economic Plan and let us know what they think, so we can ensure a successful and sustainable future for Shirley.”

The consultation will close on February 17.

To see the full plan visit www.solihull.gov.uk/Portals/0/Planning/Shirley_Economic_Plan.pdf and to give your views visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KHL3ZPY

Or call 0121 704 8791 to request a hard copy of the plan and questionnaire.