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. It is known locally by the nickname The Ditch.
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, and the population increased dramatically from 32,000 to around 77,000.
Redditch is in Worcestershire, just south of the West Midlands urban area. It is 15 miles 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.
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.
Places Of Interest In Redditch
Kingfisher Shopping Centre is a shopping centre in Redditch, England. It contains 150 stores, with a range of large and smaller units, including anchor tenants Debenhams and Primark. The home, leisure and garden retailer The Range opened in July 2017, taking the former BHS unit. There are also several restaurants and cafes, a Vue Cinema and a bus station.
Kingfisher Shopping Centre was opened in 1976 by the then Prime Minister James Callaghan and now forms the town’s primary retail centre. It is well known for its palm trees in the centre’s Worcester Square.
The original trees and their accompanying fountain were removed by the centre’s management after health and safety fears relating to the age of the trees, which were nearly thirty years old. More appropriate palm trees were planted after the 2002 redevelopment, and remain as of 2014.
Arrow Valley Country Park (also known as Arrow Valley Park) is a country park on the River Arrow, at Redditch, Worcestershire, England.
Built by Redditch Development Corporation in the 1970s. It has 900 acres (3.6 km2) of public open space and incorporates the 27 acres (11 ha) Arrow Valley Lake, popular for dinghy sailing, fishing and birdwatching.
The lake is home to Redditch Sailing Club (racing up to 14 ft (4.3 m) boats) and the Youth Afloat initiative, which provides sailing experience for children would not otherwise have the opportunity. The park was recognised with a Civic Trust Green Flag Award in 2005. A visitor centre, the Countryside Centre (access off the B4497, Battens Drive) was opened in 2000 and is open most days.
Royal Enfield was a brand name under which The Enfield Cycle Company Limited of Redditch, Worcestershire sold motorcycles, bicycles, lawnmowers and stationary engines which they had manufactured. Enfield Cycle Company also used the brand name Enfield without Royal.
The first Royal Enfield motorcycle was built in 1901. The Enfield Cycle Company is responsible for the design and original production of the Royal Enfield Bullet, the longest-lived motorcycle design in history.
Enfield’s remaining motorcycle business became part of Norton Villiers in 1967 and that business closed in 1978. A former subsidiary continues to manufacture Royal Enfield motorcycles in India.