Economics and Demographics
Wyre Forest consists of a complementary network of towns and service centres. The three towns of Kidderminster, Stourport-on-Severn and Bewdley are roughly equidistant and no more than three miles apart.
Kidderminster is the employment and service hub of the district with a population of over 55,000 residents. It is located 17 miles south-west of Birmingham city centre and 15 miles north of Worcester city centre.
Kidderminster can claim to be the birthplace of the modern carpet industry – founded in the area in 1785 by Brintons. Continuing this heritage, the sector remains a significant employer in the area, with Brintons Carpets providing jobs to several hundred people.
Stourport-on-Severn is located on the confluence of the rivers Severn and Stour. It has a population of around 20,000.
During the late 19th century, Stourport-on-Severn became a popular summer destination for people attracted to its riverside pleasure parks, boat trips, and excellent pubs and restaurants. The more recent growth in leisure boating and canal barge ownership and holidays has seen the revitalisation of Stourport’s central canal basins and a growth in its tourism sector.
Bewdley has a population of around 10,000 and is located on the western bank of the River Severn.
Bewdley is an attractive historic town, successfully blending medieval, 18th century and more modern buildings within its commercial core. The former quayside on the western bank of the river has been landscaped and improved over the last few decades, and it provides pleasant views of the town’s Thomas Telford-designed bridge and its rows of Georgian townhouses and buildings. Since the completion of flood defences in 2006, a "civic space" has been created. This is used to accommodate farmers’ markets and other events.
On June 14 2016, Wyre Forest District Council's Cabinet approved a new strategy for enabling business growth and enterprise. The strategy was preprepared by NWedR. See the Enabling Business Growth & Enterprise Strategy 2016.
Launched in 2009, the Rewyre Investment Prospectus defined a future for Kidderminster and identified what became known as an ‘Arc of Opportunity’ that incorporates four strategically linked Action Areas. These were: Kidderminster Town Centre, Comberton Hill Gateway, Churchfields and Silverwoods on the A451 road linking the town with nearby Stourport-on-Severn.
The Prospectus, delivered through teamwork amongst public sector partners and a development-led approach of local authority planners, has resulted in a remarkable level of public and private-sector investment in Wyre Forest's priority commercial areas.
Find out more about current projects in Wyre Forest via our interactive map.
The visitor economy and tourism
NWedr supports and works in partnership with Destination Worcestershire - a not for profit organisation, run through the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, with all revenue raised through membership put towards promoting the county as a tourism destination to the domestic and international tourism markets.