Why regenerate?

Craig Croft Shops 2010 Arran Way shops 2009

North Solihull is a relatively new area in the West Midlands, built between 1965 and 1971 on ancient woodland (part of the Forest of Arden) as an overspill town for Birmingham.

Located near Birmingham International Airport and the National Exhibition Centre. There are several bus routes linking the area with Birmingham city centre, just 8 miles away, as well as the town centre of Solihull.

With over 40,000 residents living and working in the North Solihull, the area covers 1,000 acres and is divided into 3 wards: Chelmsley Wood, Smith's Wood, Kingshurst & Fordbridge.

Due to the decline in industry in the early 1990's and the premature dilapidation of some of the buildings and infrastructure, the components that the community needed to help them adjust adapt and move on were not there.

Some facts regarding the deprivation within North Solihull are:

  • Communities in 5% and 10% most deprived neighbourhoods within England for education, skills, employment and income (IMD 2004)
  • People over 16 are four times less as likely to have no qualifications than those in south Solihull.
  • A child born in North Solihull today will die 7 years earlier than a child born in the south of the Borough
  • Smith's Wood in worst 5% for crime (IMD 2004)
  • The formulaic Radburn housing layout created thousands of 2 and 3 bedroom houses and flats, but nothing bigger or smaller.
  • Little ethnic mix; lone parents; second and third generation worklessness; 48% no qualifications
  • There are limited numbers of jobs available within North Solihull, and accessibility via public transport to employment hubs such as the NEC is inadequate.
  • Local shopping areas are very outdated that dont meat the needs of the community.
  • North Solihull is not eligible for a lot of funding because severe deprivation is masked by district-wide scores

Solihull Council wanted to improve the lives of local people, but knew they couldn't do this on their own so set up the North Solihull Partnership which enabled money to be raised through the council's land assets that could then be invested back in the whole community. Solihull Council set up the North Solihull Partnership to work with the community to address these issues.