Touchwood is a shopping centre in Solihull, in the south-east of the West Midlands. The shopping centre is on redeveloped land in the town centre, close to bus and railway stations, and with its own multi-storey car park.
While Dudley is one of the less prosperous parts of the West Midlands, Solihull is one of the more prosperous. The Solihull area includes the National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham International Airport. It has far less derelict industrial land than Dudley and has far more employment in growing sectors of the economy. However, by the 1990s the town centre seemed rather old-fashioned and started to struggle to cope with regional out-of-town developments such as Merry Hill. The Touchwood shopping centre was Solihull's response in September 2001.
Located just nine miles east of Birmingham, Solihull has established itself as an attractive metropolitan borough with its own unique character. Therefore in building Touchwood our goal was to build a centre that would complement the architectural and landscape qualities of Solihull whilst delivering the finest retail offer in a secure and welcoming environment.
Touchwood’s charter was to enhance the architectural and landscape qualities of Solihull, incorporating itself into what was already an expanding regional shopping destination.
The centre has successfully improved the neighbouring facilities with elegant malls, a stylish retail offer and civic gardens providing green spaces for the community to enjoy. Touchwood benefits from natural light throughout the centre and each arcade has been developed with its own personality and ambience to enhance the shopping experience.
Touchwood was designed to to reflect the Solihull area with open spaces and natural lighting.
The shopping centre had over 80 shops, over 20 restaurants and a cinema. It is locates near to junction 4 and 5 of the M42 and has more than 6000 car parking spaces.
The centre had become a blue- print for in town developments due to its aesthetics and efficiency.
It has created over 2000 retail jobs which has had a great impact on the Solihull area's employment levels.
Touchwood has three arcades, all having different looks and shops to meet the needs and wants of the customers, to help attract a wide customer base. There are large stores which are 40 metres in depth to help to accommodate the modern retailers needs. The use of open areas and courtyards creates a uniqueness about the shopping centres which not many can boast.
The courtyards, both external and internal, were inspired by vaulted roofs of Sir John Soane's Bank of England, and act as meeting points for shoppers as they have comfortable seething areas for resting and relaxing.
Four gardens are in place to provide moments of respite from shopping or work.
Touchwood is committed to creating a sustainable environment and to achieve cultural social and economic