This article includes a list of general references, but it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (December 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Church Green East, Redditch.
Church Green East, Redditch.
Redditch as seen under the B97 & B98 Postcodes.
Redditch as seen under the B97 & B98 Postcodes.
Coordinates: 52°18′00″N 1°56′00″W / 52.3°N 1.933333°W / 52.3; -1.933333
CountryUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionWest Midlands
Ceremonial CountyWorcestershire
New Town status10 April 1964
Borough status15 May 1980
UK ParliamentRedditch
  • Abbey
  • Astwood Bank & Feckenham
  • Batchley & Brockhill
  • Central
  • Church Hill
  • Crabbs Cross
  • Greenlands
  • Headless Cross & Oakenshaw
  • Lodge Park
  • Matchborough
  • West
  • Winyates
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyRedditch Borough Council
 • Council leaderMatthew Dormer[2] (Conservative)
 • MayorSalman Akbar[3] (Conservative)
 • MPRachel Maclean (Conservative)
 • District20.95 sq mi (54.25 km2)
 • Rank261st
430 ft (130 m)
 • District87,036
 • Rank278th
 • Density4,150/sq mi (1,604/km2)
 • Urban98.4%
 • Rural1.6%
 • Ethnicity82% White British, 18% Other (2021 Census)
 • Summer (DST)GMT
B96, B97, B98
Post town
Dialling code01527
ONS code47UD (ONS)
E07000236 (GSS)

Redditch is a town, and local government district, approximately 15 miles (24km) south of Birmingham city centre. It is located in north-east Worcestershire, England. The district had a population of 87,037 in 2021. 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.[7] In the 1960s, it became a model for modern new town planning as the town itself was set as a commuter town for the city of Birmingham.

Unicorn hill, a retail and residential area in Redditch, south of Bromsgrove Road


Commemorative pavement plaque in Alcester Street

See also: History of Worcestershire

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. Redditch was designated a new town on 10 April 1964,[8] 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 retailer Halfords and engineering company 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 in 2002, Redditch is undergoing an economic and cultural renaissance.[citation needed]

The town is home to several historical sites.[citation needed] 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.[9][10][11]


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, which manages lower-tier local government services. Worcestershire County Council manages upper-tier services.

The foundation stone for Redditch Town Hall was laid in 1981.[12] It cost £7.5 million to build and it was opened in 1982.[13]


Redditch is in Worcestershire, just south of the West Midlands urban area. It is 24 km (15 mi) 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.

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

Since 2011, Redditch has participated in the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership along with neighbouring authorities Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Solihull, Tamworth, and Wyre Forest.

Green belt

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.[14]

The main urban area up to the Webheath, Walkwood, and Hunt End suburbs, 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).[15][16]

Redditch Railway sign


The 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.


The Redditch railway station is a southern terminus of the Cross-City Line and provides a regular train service via Birmingham New Street to Four Oaks and Lichfield. Redditch railway station 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 from Alcester to Redditch of the Redditch and Evesham Railway was closed, at which point a second station was built alongside the junction of Bromsgrove Road and Plymouth Road. This station was provided with a standard Midland Railway design and two platforms. The current station was built in 1993.


The former Redditch Bus Station, circa 1996

There is an extensive network of local bus services run by Diamond West Midlands and other operators (including Stagecoach 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[citation needed]. 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.[citation needed]

Road system

Redditch is occasionally noted[by whom?] 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.[citation needed] 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 planned community.


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.

Heart of 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 Bromsgrove, Worcester, and Malvern. The closest university is the University of Birmingham, 12.5 miles (20 km) to the north.


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 Crematorium. Redditch Borough Council expects the scheme to reduce the leisure centre's gas bill by more than 40%, equivalent to an annual saving of about £15,000.[17]

In popular culture

The 2012 film Sightseers is partly set in Redditch.[18]

Redditch is featured in a section heading in An Utterly Impartial History of Britain by John O'Farrell.[19]

Birmingham and national TV comedian Jasper Carrott makes Redditch a repeated butt of his jokes, for example over the difficulty of escaping the Redditch ring road.[20]

There is a listed theatre in Redditch called the Palace Theatre.

Places of interest

Redditch Landmarks

Kingfisher Shopping Centre

Worcester Square

Kingfisher Shopping Centre was opened in 1976 by the then Prime Minister James Callaghan and now forms the town's primary retail centre.

The centre has over 1,100,000 square feet (100,000 m2) of retail space,[21] with stores including Primark, Next plc, Boots UK, H&M, 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 and is now owned by Vue Cinemas.

Arrow Valley Country Park

View across Arrow Valley Lake

Redditch has 900 acres (3.6 km2) of public open space in Arrow Valley 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.[22] 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 the 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 Interceptor. The Redditch factory was closed in 1967 and production was moved to the Bradford on Avon factory, which closed in 1970, ending English Enfield manufacturing.[citation needed] In the mid 1950s, the company established a partner, Madras Motors, in Madras, India, who manufactured the Bullet 350 model. The Indian factory is producing new models and has taken Royal Enfield into its third century of manufacturing.[citation needed] Some of the original factory buildings in 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.

Notable people

Town twinning

In 1956, Redditch was twinned with Auxerre in Burgundy, France. This twinning proved sufficiently popular to form an organisation named The Friends of Auxerre (FoA). At the beginning of June each year the coupling of these two towns is officially celebrated.

In 1986, Redditch was twinned with Mtwara in Tanzania. Frequent events are organised with assistance from the community of Tanzanian students at Birmingham University and Selly Oak College.

Friendship links

Redditch also has formal "Friendship" links[32] with:


Redditch sport teams include:


Redditch has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the United Kingdom.

Climate data for Redditch
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7
Average low °C (°F) 2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 71.4
Average precipitation days 12 9 11 10 9 9 8 9 9 11 11 11 119
Source: NOAA[37]

See also


  1. ^ "Borough Crest". Redditch Borough Council. 11 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Councillor Matt Dormer". Redditch Borough Council. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Committee details". Redditch Borough Council. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Standard Area Measurements (2016) for Administrative Areas in the United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, 2021". Office for National Statistics. 2 November 2022. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  6. ^ a b Worcestershire Demographic Report – Census 2011 (PDF), Worcestershire County Council, 2013, p. 10, retrieved 6 March 2017
  7. ^ "Forge Mill Needle Museum and Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre, Redditch". Forge Mill Needle Museum. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  8. ^ "No. 43296". The London Gazette. 14 April 1964. p. 3202.
  9. ^ "Moons Moat". Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Moated site known as Moon's Moat, Non Civil Parish - 1019855 | Historic England". Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Home". Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Facts and history of Redditch" (PDF). Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  13. ^ "New Town Development Events". Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  14. ^ "A Study of Green Belt Land & Areas of Development Restraint within Redditch Borough" (PDF).
  15. ^ "Green belt statistics - GOV.UK". 16 September 2022.
  16. ^ "Redditch Green Belt Release to meet Growth Needs" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Redditch Crematorium begins to heat town pool". BBC News. 28 June 2013.
  18. ^ "Sightseers". Independent Film Office. November 2012. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014. Tina's mother's house is in Redditch; many Internet sources describe Chris and Tina as "a Redditch couple"
  19. ^ England Divided into Separate Kingdoms: no one wants Redditch, p49
  20. ^ "Are these the worst ring roads in England?". BBC News. 5 April 2014.
  21. ^ "Major UK Shopping Transaction with Prudential" (PDF). Liberty International. March 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 29 February 2008.
  22. ^ "Habitats". Redditch Borough Council. 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  23. ^ Bonham, Mick. Bonham by Bonham: My Brother John (Solihull: Icarus Publications, 2003). ISBN 0-9545717-0-3
  24. ^ Clute and Nicholls's Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993)
  25. ^ "RallyBase". Rallybase. 16 August 1945. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  26. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  27. ^ See 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.
  28. ^ Fricker, Martin (26 April 2013). "Freddie Starr: Police are after me because they failed to nail Jimmy Savile – Mirror Online". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  29. ^ Des Styles (@des styles) (22 December 2013). "Des Styles, 'Funny stuff.. Bromsgrove Advertiser says H might be born there? He was born in Redditch, we were there just in time!We lived in Evesham. X'".
  30. ^ "Harry Styles born in Redditch – confirmed". Redditch Standard. 3 January 2014. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  31. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  32. ^ [1] Archived 27 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ "Redditch Roller Sports Club homepage". Archived from the original on 5 February 2011.
  34. ^ "Bromsgrove and Redditch Athletic Club homepage".
  35. ^ "Redditch Swimming Club". Redditch Swimming Club. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  36. ^ "Redditch Road & Path Cycling Club – Home". Redditch Road & Path Cycling Club. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  37. ^ "Redditch, UK - Weather Averages". NOAA. Retrieved 26 August 2020.