Work Starts on New Village Centre (May 2012)
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Work has started on a new village centre that is set to transform an area of North Solihull.
The North Arran Way village centre will be situated at the heart of Smith's Wood. When complete, it will have a new high street, shops and offices, and community facilities. It will also have health services and housing. This project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
A new school, Smith's Wood Community Primary, was built in 2009, and incorporates the Parish Council community facilities, including a library and gym.
In order for the village centre to be built, a new road has already been constructed linking the surrounding areas, and two tower blocks have been demolished.
The scheme is being developed in four phases – the first being the building of the road through the centre and the public open space, followed by the construction of a £3m phase 1 building which will be the home to local shops and services. Above the shops will be office space, some of which will be taken by Solihull Council, and new facilities for use by local people as well as for education and training purposes. This is set to open in Summer 2013, while the road is due to be complete by October 2012.
Later phases of the scheme will include health care facilities and residential properties, and local people will be consulted on these aspects of the scheme before detailed planning applications are made.
Councillor Ian Courts, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: "This is an extremely exciting moment in our regeneration scheme. We have always said that regeneration is not just about providing new housing – it's about whole communities, and what better to bring communities together than a village centre that can be the heart of the local area for young and old alike."
Ian Cox, Programme Director for the North Solihull Regeneration Partnership, said: "This is an important step forward in the completion of our first neighbourhood. The new North Arran Way Village Centre will be the centrepiece for this part of Smith's Wood with the majority of new shops being occupied by existing traders from Arran Way. The later phases of health care and new homes alongside the new Parish Council facilities within Smith's Wood Primary School will complete the vision of a holistic Village Centre for the community."