A NEW chair has been appointed for Redditch’s Town Deal Board.

Leigh Walton, who was formerly the vice chair of the board, has taken over from Adam Freeth.

Ms Walton is part of Redditch’s Community Forum and Redditch BID and has lived in the town for most of her life.

She said she has worked for several large businesses “where the prime goal was to move the business forward” and the “job of the Town Deal Board is to move Redditch forward.”

One of the biggest challenges the board faces is the changing face of the High Street, she says.

“Like most town centres, we have a bit of a chicken and egg situation,” added Ms Walton.

“We need to bring our residents and visitors into town, and we need reasons for them to visit us rather than somewhere else.

“People are always looking for activities, bars and restaurants offering ‘something different’.

“Some more independent shops would be great for us too. If people come in, businesses will start to follow.

“If businesses come in, people will start to follow.

“We have a good shopping centre compared to many.

“High streets are changing all over the UK, so we are fortunate that the Kingfisher Centre is immaculately kept and is adapting to changes such as those prompted by Covid.

“I’m really looking forward to getting cracking on development plans for Redditch.”

The Towns Deal Board has developed a Town Investment Plan (TIP) and a budget which will see regeneration projects across the town between now and 2026.

In June last year, Redditch was awarded £15.6 million through the government's Towns Funds.

It is proposed the money is used for a digital and innovation centre, redevelopment of Redditch Library and improvements to the appearance of the town centre.