Halesowen is being promoted as a visitor and shopping destination at nearby Rowley Regis Railway Station.
Organisers hope that new signs and artwork will drive some of the thousands of passengers that pass through Rowley Regis every day to neighbouring Halesowen by raising awareness of the many attractions on offer.
New signs at the station highlight bus, walking and cycle routes into Halesowen; artwork designed by Halesowen students reflecting the heritage of the area is being installed and a new volunteer station adoption team have been hard at work enhancing the station environment.
Vicky Rogers, manager of Halesowen BID, said: “Halesowen is a lovely market town that is easily accessible from Birmingham. We have developed this project to promote the attractions of the town and encourage day visitors and shoppers.
“Halesowen has a fascinating heritage and history. The town is home to a Norman church that has been in use for over 900 years; Halesowen in Bloom has won international awards, being placed third in the world for the urban town category, and the Cornbow Shopping Centre adds to the visitor appeal.”
Halesowen BID was successful in being awarded a community grant through West Midlands Railway’s Your Community, Your Fund scheme on the basis of promoting rail access to Halesowen.
“Rowley Regis is a busy commuter station with thousands of passengers passing through every day,” she said. “Halesowen used to have a rail link many years ago and in order to raise interest in reaching Halesowen by rail, we wanted to ensure that the people passing through Rowley Regis were aware of Halesowen and the transport links to this lovely town.
“We were absolutely over the moon when our application for funding was successful. “Halesowen is now included on the station sign boards and via the on-board announcements. At the station, real-time information signs will show people how they can reach Halesowen.”
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street recently visited and gave the project his full backing. “I want to congratulate everyone who has been involved in the project to link the station much more with Halesowen town centre,” he said.
“Full marks to Halesowen BID who have driven this. It’s great to see all the work bringing this station fully back to life and showing the incredible link with Halesowen town centre.”
Vicky said there would also be a piece of art at the station to recognise Rowley Regis’s heritage as a former Royal hunting ground. “We don’t want to take away from Rowley Regis, we want to add to it,” she added.
The Reaching Halesowen project is one of 21 community initiatives that have been awarded funding through the West Midlands Railway Your Community, Your Fund grant.
Fay Easton, head of stakeholder and community at West Midlands Railway, said: “The fund was created to help community projects that would bring benefits for rail users and we are delighted to have been able to help Halesowen build visitor numbers via rail.
“The local volunteers are making sure that Rowley Regis station offers a warm and welcoming environment for our customers and the new signs and artwork will help raise awareness of both the proximity and attractions of Halesowen.”
The organisers are seeking volunteers to join the station adoption group to continue the planting and work there to make more connections between Halesowen and Rowley Regis. For more details, email Vicky Rogers at email@example.com
For more details about the projects being funded through the West Midlands Railway fund, visit www.21stories.co.uk