Redditch is a town and local government district in north-east
Worcestershire, England, approximately 15 miles (24 km) south of
Birmingham. The district had a population of 84,300 in 2011. In the
19th century it became the international centre for the needle and
fishing tackle industry. At one point 90% of the world's needles were
manufactured in the town and its neighbourhoods. In the 1960s it
became a model for modern new town planning.
3.2 Districts of Redditch
3.3 Green belt
4.3 Road system
7 In popular culture
8 Places of interest
8.1 Kingfisher Shopping Centre
8.2 Arrow Valley
Royal Enfield motorcycles
9 Notable people
10.1 Friendship links
12 See also
14 External links
Commemorative pavement plaque in
The first recorded mention of
Redditch (Red-Ditch, thought to be a
reference to the red clay of the nearby River Arrow) is in 1348, the
year of the outbreak of the Black Death. During the
Middle Ages it
became a centre of needle-making and later prominent industries were
fish-hooks, fishing tackle, motorcycles and springs, the last of which
was notably undertaken by Herbert Terry and Sons.
designated a new town on 10 April 1964, and the population
increased dramatically[when?] from 32,000 to around 77,000. Housing
developments such as Church Hill, Matchborough, Winyates, Lodge Park
and Woodrow were created to accommodate a large overspill from the
industrially expanding Birmingham.
Redditch was built as a "flagship"
town using new methods and new town planning: all the main roads
(mostly new dual carriageways as well as a ring road for the town
centre) were banked to reduce noise to the new housing estates, and
the whole of
Redditch was landscaped.
By the 21st century needle-making and other traditional industries had
been replaced by modern light industry and services, with Redditch
also functioning as a dormitory town for Birmingham. The automotive
Halfords and engineering giant
GKN both have their
headquarters in Redditch. Manufacturer of precious metal contacts
Samuel Taylor Ltd has manufacturing plants within the town. Following
the redevelopment of the flagship
Kingfisher Shopping Centre
Kingfisher Shopping Centre in 2002
Redditch is undergoing an economic and cultural renaissance.
The town is home to several historical sites. The National Needle
Museum and the ruins of
Bordesley Abbey are located in the Abbey Ward
district, and the remains of a medieval moated settlement called Moons
Moat are within the Church Hill estate.
The parliamentary constituency of
Redditch is represented by Rachel
Maclean of the Conservatives, elected in the 2017 General Election.
Redditch has a Borough Council with councillors elected from the Wards
of Redditch, and manage bottom-tier local government services.
Worcestershire County Council managing upper services.
Redditch is in Worcestershire, just south of the West Midlands urban
area. It is 15 miles (24 km) north of
Evesham on the A435, which
skirts it to the east. The main access routes are the A441 via
junction 2 of the M42 Motorway, the A435 from junction 3 of the M42
and the A448 via junctions 4 or 5 of the M5. The
Roman Road known as
Icknield Street is prominent, running north to south through the
eastern side of the town.
Redditch has an oceanic climate (
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification Cfb)
similar to almost all of the United Kingdom.
Climate data for Redditch
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Districts of Redditch
The Borough of
Redditch is divided into several districts. To the east
of the town are "New
Town Districts" built in the 1970s and 1980s. To
the west of the Borough are older "Former Village Districts" that
dominate the south and west.
See: Districts of Redditch
Redditch has participated in the Greater
Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership along with neighbouring
authorities Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire,
Lichfield, Solihull, Tamworth and Wyre Forest.
Further information: West Midlands Green Belt
Redditch is within a green belt region that extends into the wider
surrounding counties, and is in place to reduce urban sprawl, prevent
the towns in the nearby West Midlands conurbations centred around
Birmingham and Coventry, discouraging further convergence, protect the
identity of outlying communities, encourage brownfield reuse, and
preserve nearby countryside. This is achieved by restricting
inappropriate development within the designated areas, and imposing
stricter conditions on permitted building.
The main urban area up to the Webheath, Walkwood, and Hunt End
Astwood Bank and the southernmost extent of the borough are
exempt from the green belt area, bar small adjacent green belt
'wedges', but surrounding smaller villages, hamlets and rural areas
such as Feckenham, Littleworth, Old Yarr and Ham Green up to the B4090
Salt Way road are 'washed over' by the designation. The green belt was
first drawn up under
Worcestershire County Council, and the size in
the borough in 2017 amounted to some 1,800 hectares (18 km2;
6.9 sq mi).
M42 motorway is a short drive away and it is linked by dual
carriageways and A-class roads to surrounding towns such as Bromsgrove
and Evesham. There are regular bus services to Studley, Bromsgrove,
Catshill and Birmingham.
Cross-City Line provides a regular train service via Birmingham
New Street to Lichfield Trent Valley.
Redditch railway station, the
southern terminus of the line, was first opened as the terminus of the
Redditch Railway on 19 September 1859, alongside what is now Clive
Road. This first station stayed until 4 May 1868 when the last section
Redditch of the
Evesham Railway was
closed, at which point a second station was built alongside the
Bromsgrove Road and Plymouth Road. This station was
provided with a standard Midland Railway design and two platforms. The
current station, built in 1993, offers little more than a ticket
office and a store.
Redditch Bus Station, circa 1996
There is an extensive network of local bus services run by Diamond and
other operators (including Stagecoach, Johnsons Excel Bus and a
community run bus). Many services run from the bus station in the town
centre, a postcard of which was voted Britain's most boring postcard
in a competition run by the photographer Martin Parr. The bus station
was rebuilt as part of the 2002 shopping centre expansion.
Some areas of
Redditch have dedicated bus routes; however, there have
been issues with safety on these routes and 3 children have died over
the past 15 years.
Redditch is occasionally noted for its confusing road system dominated
by a system of dual carriageways built when it became a New Town,
including the only cloverleaf interchange in
England at the junction
of the A441 and the Bromsgrove-bound A448. The system is designed to
allow rapid flow of large volumes of traffic around the various
districts and into the town centre, whilst keeping fast moving
vehicles separated from residential streets.
Redditch was briefly
famous (via The Graham Norton Show) for a tongue-in-cheek calendar
featuring its "picturesque" roundabouts created by a local printing
company. The calendar was called, unsurprisingly, 'Roundabouts of
Redditch' and it proved so successful that it sparked a national
series. This self-similar pattern is found on a smaller scale in many
of the modern estates in the town, which follow a Radburn style of
See also: List of schools in Worcestershire
Redditch is one of the few areas of the country where the three-tier
system of first, middle and high schools still exists. Students attend
first school from the age of 4, middle school from the age of 9, and
secondary school at the age of 13. Other areas of Worcestershire
adopted this system at the same time as
Redditch (in the 1970s), but
many have reverted to the traditional 5–7 infant, 7–11 junior and
11-16/18 secondary schools.
Redditch currently has four high schools (RSA Academy Arrow Vale,
Saint Augustine's Catholic High School, Tudor Grange Academy, Trinity
High School) and six middle schools.
Worcestershire College (often referred to locally as "HOW
College") is a large general further education college: one of its
four campuses is in central Redditch; the other three are in
Worcester and Malvern.
St Stephen's Church (Church of England)
Since June 2013 the swimming pool at Abbey Stadium leisure centre has
been heated using waste heat diverted from
Redditch Borough Council
Redditch Borough Council expects the scheme to reduce the leisure
centre's gas bill by more than 40%, equivalent to an annual saving of
In popular culture
Malcolm Bradbury's novel The History Man, which was dramatised by the
BBC in 1981, contained a reference to
Redditch when Flora Beniform, a
sociologist, mentioned to the hero Howard Kirk that she was studying
an outbreak of troilism in Redditch. It is also sometimes reported as
being mentioned in the
John Cooper Clarke
John Cooper Clarke song, 'Burnley', however
Reddish (a district in Greater Manchester) is the more likely
Rik Mayall's Kevin Turvey — The Man Behind The Green Door was set
and filmed in Redditch.
The 2012 film
Sightseers is partly set in Redditch.
Redditch is featured in a section heading in An Utterly Impartial
History of Britain by John O'Farrell.
Birmingham and national TV comedian
Jasper Carrott makes
repeated butt of his jokes, for example over the difficulty of
Redditch ring road.
There is thriving listed theatre in
Redditch called the Palace
Places of interest
Bordesley Abbey: remains of a former
Cistercian abbey, later used as a
Forge Mill Needle Museum: exhibition of traditional needle making.
Morton Stanley Park: A public park in the village of Callow Hill with
views of the
Malvern Hills and wider Worcestershire.
Kingfisher Shopping Centre
Kingfisher Shopping Centre
Kingfisher Shopping Centre was opened in 1976 by the then Prime
James Callaghan and now forms the town's primary retail
The centre has over 1,100,000 square feet (100,000 m2) of retail
space, with stores like Debenhams, Primark, Next plc, Marks and
Spencers, Boots UK, H&M,
The Perfume Shop
The Perfume Shop and Warren James
Jewellers. It is one of the largest covered shopping centres in the
United Kingdom. In 2007, a cinema opened on the new upper floor.
View across Arrow Valley Lake
Redditch has 900 acres (3.6 km2) of public open space in Arrow
Country Park. This incorporates the 30-acre (120,000 m2)
Arrow Valley Lake, fed by the River Arrow. The park incorporates a
Local Nature Reserve, Proctor's Barn Meadow. The Arrow Valley
Countryside centre, opened in 2000 in the
Country Park, has a lakeside
café, gift shop and an interactive exhibition. The lake is also used
for water sports. There are four waymarked trails for walking and
cycling around the lake and through the
Country Park. There is a skate
park in the south of the park with walks along the river Arrow through
Country Park to the Forge Mill Museum in the north. There are
interactive events and family activities at the Countryside Centre and
a comprehensive children's play area.
Royal Enfield motorcycles
Redditch was the home of the
Royal Enfield motorcycle. This is where
the main factory of the original company was located and the business
continued manufacturing until the 1960s, the last model being the
Redditch factory was closed in 1967 and production
was moved to the
Bradford on Avon
Bradford on Avon factory, which closed in 1970,
ending English Enfield manufacturing. In the mid 1950s, the company
established a partner,
Madras Motors, in Madras, India, who
manufactured the Bullet 350 model. The Indian factory is still very
successful, with new Indian models and has taken
Royal Enfield into
its third century of manufacturing. Some of the original factory
Redditch still remain, most are in a derelict state and
can be seen from Hewell Road. Some buildings have been taken over and
now make the old part of Enfield Industrial Estate close to the town
centre on Hewell Road.
John Bonham (1948–1980), musician with Led Zeppelin, was born in
Redditch and attended Bridley Moor High School.
Lionel Britton (1887–1971), novelist and writer of science fiction
plays was born at
Astwood Bank now a suburb of Redditch.
Russell Brookes (born 1945), British rally champion
Nigel Clark from band
Dodgy grew up in
Redditch and went to The Leys
High school, now Tudor Grange Academy Redditch
Stacy Coldicott (born 1974), footballer, West Bromwich Albion and
Town F.C. was born in Redditch.
Charles Dance (born 1946), actor, born in Redditch
Jimmy Davis (1982–2003), footballer, Manchester United, Swindon Town
and Watford F.C.. Born in Bromsgrove, his funeral took place at
Jonathan Dow, actor was born in Redditch.
England (born 1970), TV presenter, educated in Redditch
Luke Johnson, musician,
Lostprophets was born in Redditch.
Antony Johnston, author, was raised in Redditch.
Zoë Lister, actor
Hollyoaks trained at the Starlight School of Dance
in Winyates, Redditch.
Joe Lolley, footballer, Huddersfield
was born in Redditch.
Tony Martin (born 1957), singer,
Black Sabbath frontman 1987–1991,
Tom Paddock (1822–1863) was born in Redditch, and known as the
Redditch Needlepointer", champion heavyweight bare-knuckle boxer of
England in 1856
Freddie Starr (born 1943) lives in Mappleborough Green, just
Harry Styles (born 1994) born in Redditch. Raised in Holmes
Chapel. Member of boy band One Direction.
Jacqui Smith, former MP for
Redditch and first female British Home
Alan Styler, (1925–1970) D'Oyly Carte Opera Company baritone,
1947–1968 was born and raised in Redditch.
John Taylor (born 1960), musician, Duran Duran, went to Abbey High
School in Redditch
Raymond Thompson, scriptwriter and TV producer, born in Redditch.
Creator of hit New Zealand teen/sci-fi television series The Tribe
Charlie Clemmow, soap actress who is best known for her role as Imogen
Hollins in the
BBC soap, Doctors. She grew up in Astwood Bank.
Redditch was twinned with
Auxerre in Burgundy, France. This
twinning proved sufficiently popular to form an organisation named The
Auxerre (FoA). At the beginning of June each year the
coupling of these two towns is officially celebrated.
Redditch was twinned with
Mtwara in Tanzania. Frequent events
are organised with assistance from the community of Tanzanian students
Birmingham University and Selly Oak College.
Redditch also has formal "Friendship" links with:
St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, West Indies
Gujar Khan, Pakistan
Redditch sport teams include:
Redditch United F.C.
Redditch United F.C. playing Football in the Southern Football League
NEW Ravens playing
Rugby League in the Midlands
Rugby League Premier
Redditch RFC playing
Rugby Union in the Midlands 4 West (South)
Redditch CC playing
Cricket in the
Worcestershire County Cricket
Redditch Arrows American football Team
Badminton Club playing
Badminton with 8 teams in
Worcestershire and Solihull Leagues.
Redditch Roller Sports Club Roller Derby and Recretational Roller
Redditch Athletic Club
Redditch Rockets Skater Hockey Club
Redditch Swimming Club
Redditch Road and Path Cycling Club
Thaitans Martial Arts Academy
Districts of Redditch
^ "Councillor Bill Hartnett".
Redditch Borough Council. Retrieved 7
^ "Committee details".
Redditch Borough Council. Retrieved 13
^ "Standard Area Measurements (2016) for Administrative Areas in the
United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 1 February 2017.
Retrieved 9 February 2017.
Population Estimates for UK,
England and Wales, Scotland and
Northern Ireland, Mid-2016". Office for National Statistics. 22 June
2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
^ a b
Worcestershire Demographic Report – Census 2011 (PDF),
Worcestershire County Council, 2013, p. 10, retrieved 6 March
^ "First Census 2011 figures published by Office for National
Worcestershire County Council. 2011. Archived from
the original (PDF) on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
Forge Mill Needle Museum
Forge Mill Needle Museum and
Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre,
Redditch". Forge Mill Needle Museum. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
^ "No. 43296". The London Gazette. 14 April 1964. p. 3202.
^ "Averages for Redditch".
^ "A Study of Green Belt Land & Areas of Development Restraint
Redditch Borough" (PDF). www.redditchbc.gov.uk.
^ "Green belt statistics - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk.
Redditch Green Belt Release to meet Growth Needs" (PDF).
Redditch Crematorium begins to heat town pool".
^ "Sightseers". Independent Film Office. November 2012. Retrieved 8
February 2014. Tina's mother's house is in Redditch; many
Internet sources describe Chris and Tina as "a
England Divided into Separate Kingdoms: no one wants Redditch, p49
^ "Are these the worst ring roads in England?".
^ "Major UK Shopping Transaction with Prudential" (PDF). Liberty
International. March 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on
2007-10-27. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
Redditch Borough Council. 2013-11-22. Archived from the
original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
^ Bonham, Mick. Bonham by Bonham: My Brother John (Solihull: Icarus
Publications, 2003). ISBN 0-9545717-0-3
^ Clute and Nicholls's Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993)
^ "RallyBase". Rallybase. 1945-08-16. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
^ Fricker, Martin (2013-04-26). "Freddie Starr: Police are after me
because they failed to nail Jimmy Savile – Mirror Online". Daily
Mirror. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
^ Des Styles (@des styles) (22 December 2013). "Des Styles, 'Funny
Bromsgrove Advertiser says H might be born there? He was born
in Redditch, we were there just in time!We lived in Evesham.
Harry Styles born in
Redditch – confirmed".
Redditch Standard. 3
January 2014. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved
28 February 2014.
Jacqui Smith MP's web site archived on Wayback Machine. Note
though Ms Smith's actual place of residence was subject to some
controversy in 2009, see her article.
^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media
Ltd. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
^  Archived 27 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
Redditch Roller Sports Club homepage". Archived from the original
on 5 February 2011.
Redditch Athletic Club homepage".
Redditch Swimming Club".
Redditch Swimming Club. Retrieved
Redditch Road & Path Cycling Club – Home".
& Path Cycling Club. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
Website of Redditch
Redditch Local History Group – Local History Group based at Forge
Districts of the West Midlands Region
Telford and Wrekin
Nuneaton and Bedworth
Ceremonial county of Worcestershire
Boroughs or districts
See also: List of civil parishes in Worcestershire
Staffordshire & Worcestershire
Worcester & Birmingham
Population of major settlements
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings