The Cornbow Story

The parish of Halesowen was an exclave of Shropshire but grew to become a town and was transferred to the jurisdiction of Worcestershire in 1844 and later to the West Midlands under Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council in 1974.

The centre of Halesowen is home to a Norman Church (St John’s). a football ground (non league Halesowen FC) and a college (founded in 1939).  The cross located to the right of the church is one of only three left in the country which, historically, have been used for nationwide navigation since the 1200s.

Much of the housing in Halesowen was built in the 30 years which followed the end of the Second World War although you can still find Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses in some parts of the town.

The town centre was almost completely rebuilt during the 1960’s.

1967 – 1989

The Cornbow Shopping Centre, previously known as ‘The Precinct’, was constructed by Worcestershire in 1967.

The centre was typical of the open-plan, windswept designs of its era.

While the centre was linked to the adjoining multi-storey car park, access for shoppers was via a dark and intimidating pedestrian tunnel.

By the 1980s, the standard of the centre was deteriorating and it was in need of refurbishment.

1989 – 2007

Land Securities refurbished the Cornbow centre to a high standard in 1989, winning the International Council of Shopping Centres and British Council of Shopping Centres refurbishment awards.

By enclosing the centre and removing the former pedestrian ramp from the Queensway, it was possible to provide 19 new shops as well as remodelling and extending existing plots.

2007 – Present

Almost 20 years later, the Cornbow has undergone another dramatic facelift, this time as part of a partnership between Vale Retail, Centro-WMPTA and Dudley Council.

The exciting works have seen:

  • a new 6,750 sqm ASDA store on two levels
  • replacement of the existing multi-storey car park with a new car park providing direct access into the shopping centre, 600 spaces (approximately 50% more than the previous car park), a better layout and disabled access, improved security and lighting
  • the purchase, clean-up and redevelopment of the former Murco petrol filling station
  • a much needed upgrade to the exterior of the Cornbow Shopping Centre along Queensway
  • a new entrance at Queensway Mall level to integrate with Centro’s new bus station

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