Redditch is an attractive town in the north of Worcestershire and just south of Birmingham that combines new and much older elements. Part of the town dates back many centuries, whilst many areas and road layouts were laid out as part of a New Town in the 1960s. Redditch today is home to several engineering and automotive companies including Halfords. For residents there are excellent transport links, with the M42 running very close to the town and the M40 to London not far away. From Redditch station it is just 40 minutes to the commercial and shopping centre of Birmingham and an hour to Worcester. There is a large shopping centre in the town and various sports clubs.
The town of Redditch lies in Worcestershire and its history dates back to the 12th Century when Cistercian Monks built an Abbey at Bordesley in the Valley of the River Arrow. During the three centuries which followed a number of families settled near the Abbey and their hamlet became known as La Redditch. The name - first mentioned in medieval documents in 1348 - comes from the little Arrow Brook which flows into the River Arrow and runs through a layer of clay which often turns the water red hence RED-DITCH.
As the population of Redditch grew it became famous for needle making and by the 19th Century it led the field in needle production and other metal based trades such as fish hook and spring manufacture. In 1964 it was designated a New Town, a new flagship style method of expanding and developing towns allowing extensive redevelopment around a comprehensive road network with screening from all the main routes. Today needle making and other traditional industries have been replaced by a wide range of light industry and other services and although Redditch was intended as a dormitory town for Birmingham it now provides substantial employment of its own. Although there are limited areas of traditional terraced houses near the centre of the town, the main part of Redditch is made up of modern estates of semi detached and detached homes built over the last 40 years on the new town principles.
As a new town it has an excellent range of facilities with a large purpose built shopping centre called The Kingfisher Centre and it also retains a pedestrianised square centered around the Church where all the professions are located. It has a station with train services to Birmingham on the Cross City Line and a recently completed bus station providing access to most parts of Worcestershire. There are also first class schools and recently extended college offering a range of courses.
One of the features of Redditch is the Arrow Valley Country Park of 900 acres with 27 acre lake in the centre fed from the River Arrow.
Other features include a new cinema with 7 screens, Abbey Stadium with extensive sporting facilities as well as easy access to the M42 motorway and onto Birmingham Airport.