THE 37th Signal Regiment has had the highest possible honour in Redditch bestowed on it - the Freedom of the Borough.

At a recent meeting it was decided to admit the 37th Signal Regiment, a specialist army reserve unit that provides vital communications support, to be Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Redditch in recognition of the services it provides.

Based in Redditch, it offers information management to the armed forces, emergency services and local government agencies in times of crisis.

In recent years, the regiment's remit has expanded to include Op Herrick (Afghanistan) providing volunteers in support of 16 Signal Regiment as well as exercises in UN Operations in Belize, Gibraltar and Germany.

Councillor Juliet Brunner leader of the conservative group, who seconded the proposal, said: "It is indeed a proud day for the town that we take this opportunity to appreciate and validate the service given by all those men and women in the regiment.

"The regiment has strong links with Redditch and having their headquarters in the town it is only right and proper that we bestow our highest honour upon those who have sworn to protect and serve Queen and country in our name."

Councillor Brunner added: "Later this year we can look forward to showing our appreciation to the regiment during their first freedom parade on Armed forces day when they will march through our town."

The idea to grant Freedom of the Borough came from former Redditch mayor Jack Field in 2009 when the Mercian Regiment had the honour bestowed on it in recognition of the services of generations of of Redditch men and women.

The only time it had been bestowed previously was on former Redditch mayor Walter Stranz.