Stourbridge MP visits Stourbridge redevelopment

Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb has visited the redevelopment at Riverside to see how the Grade II listed site is being transformed.

Suzanne met with the managing director of Riverside Stourbridge Community Interest Company, Lloyd Stacey to discuss the project and tour the area

So far, the CIC has transformed it from dereliction into a beautiful community and sustainable space. The historic stretch of canal is situated next to the historic Foster Rastrick Ironworks and includes Riverside House.

Dudley Innovation Fund, Severn Trent and the Wildlife Trust have either worked in partnership or given grants to help.

The aim of the development is to offer wide-ranging health, education, and social care benefits, including social care funded placements, working with local schools and colleges and the Job Centre.

Already an extensive and growing programme of arts, traditional craft, heritage, and land/woodland-based work has been developed.

It is also now an ecology centre and has a very strong partnership with the Wildlife Trust with otters and badgers spotted.

A café and craft shop are close to opening as well as the development of a heritage hub that will open onto the canal in partnership with Canal and River Trust and the Wildlife Trust. Suzanne said:

“I was blown away with what has been achieved and the future ambitions of this important historic 19thcentury site that is being given a new lease of life for the 21st century.

“It is making a huge difference to Stourbridge and to biodiversity and sustainability in our town and it shows how we can regenerate sensitively.

“I was particularly impressed with its work with schools, including weekly bushcraft sessions for children.

“I was certainly inspired and I will do all I can to support the CIC and make sure the site continues its transformation. First and foremost, I will be contacting the Chief Executive of the Canal and River Trust to get him to visit.”

Lloyd added: “It was a pleasure meeting Suzanne, appreciated her spending time at Riverside House, and really looking forward to ways in which we can work together especially through networked business connections.”


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