While Redditch’s history stretches much further back, its main population growth occurred in the 1960s when it was designated as a new town. Today the borough’s population is in the region of 85,000.
Historically Redditch was known for its needle making industry and once produced 90% of the world’s needles. This heritage is remembered and celebrated today at the Forge Hill Needle Museum. Today people are more likely to be employed in advanced manufacturing or the aerospace industry. Major local employers in the area include Halfords (whose HQ is located in the borough), and engineering companies such as GKN plc and Samuel Taylor Ltd.
Other areas of interest in the borough include Bordesley Abbey, the excavated ruins of a Cistercian Abbey that dates back to the 12th century. The town’s Church Green conservation area is home to Redditch Market where over 30 regular traders offer an eclectic range of goods for sale.
In the centre of town you’ll discover the cultural that is Palace Theatre. This is a stunning Grade II listed building that seats 420 people and hosts a dizzying range of events, including live music, drama, comedy and sports – and is always a popular family tradition when the pantomime comes around each Christmas.