REDDITCH received a presidential visit as part of celebrations to mark 50 years since it was designated a New Town.

Cath Ranson, current president of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), presented Councillor Pat Witherspoon, mayor of Redditch, with a certificate to mark the occasion.

The president also met with borough planners to talk about the planning developments and challenges which the Council has faced in the last 50 years and how Redditch has changed.

The visit was timely as the RTPI celebrates its centenary this year.

The president said: “I’m delighted to present this certificate, from the Royal Town Planning Institute, to Councillor Pat Witherspoon, mayor of Redditch to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Redditch.

“As part of the institute’s centenary year, the celebration of New Towns is designed to raise the success of planning in improving people’s lives, providing new homes, good transport links, jobs and creating communities.

“Redditch is an exemplar in all these respects.

“The commitment to a strong sense of place and to community history, conservation of the town's heritage and re-use of the town's historic buildings is to be admired.

“Both the planners who helped design Redditch and those who continue to shape its future should be incredibly proud of what has been achieved in the last 50 years. As a result, Redditch people can look forward with optimism to the future.”

The mayor added: “I am absolutely delighted to accept this certificate because Redditch really is a special place to live, work and visit.

“It is yet another memorable addition to the ongoing celebrations to mark our 50 years as a New Town.”