Worcester set to bid for £28m to progress improvement schemes

Worcester councillors will be asked to approve a plan to bid for almost £28m at a meeting next week.

Worcester City Council will submit a bid to Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund at the end of January, setting out how a potential £27.9m investment could deliver long-term economic growth for the city and support recovery from COVID.

Last year Worcester was one of 101 towns across the UK to be given the opportunity to create a Town Investment Plan (TIP).

The plan will be published on the council’s website on 21 January for consideration by the Policy and Resources Committee on 25 January.

“We are living in unprecedented times but, as our Town Investment Plan demonstrates, ambition and commitment have never been in short supply here in Worcester,” says Cllr Marc Bayliss, leader of Worcester City Council.

“We are confident that the plan we are preparing to government will produce a strong platform from which we can create more jobs and develop better life chances for local people. We have consulted extensively, and this plan reflects a wide range of views on how this could best be achieved.”

Worcester City Council has already successfully applied for £17.9m from Government’s Future High Streets Fund, receiving confirmation at the end of December.

Worcester’s Towns Fund bid proposes six projects.

Build a Severn Centre for Health and Wellbeing
Situated on the Severn riverbank in the centre of Worcester, this will be a major new regional centre to support the education and training of health professionals.
The former Worcester News building on Hylton Road will be converted in to a 4,000sq m facility to house nursing, physiotherapy and medical training – including an anatomy lab for 50-100 students. The site will include a GP practice as well as on-site therapy and rehabilitation clinics, contributing to the needs of the local community.

Unlock Shrub Hill’s potential
Redevelop the First Bus Depot site and use this canal side area to build 350 new homes and create 2,000sq m of commercial / employment space.
Create a new pedestrian and cycle route between the Shrub Hill Railway Station, Shrub Hill Regeneration area, and the city centre.
Create a 3,000 sq m Enterprise Centre and build approximately 100 new homes on the current Isaac Maddox House site.

Help local people to develop new skills
Expand the offering of Worcester’s community centres (including those run by the Worcester Community Trust) to provide inclusive, safe and high-quality training facilities in deprived communities.
A second ‘Building Block’ construction skills centre will be created in Dines Green, building on the success of the existing one in the Warndon Community Centre.

Improved transport links to connect communities to opportunities
Create new walking and cycling routes, linking communities to opportunities for employment, education and leisure.

Build the proposed Kepax bridge across the river at Gheluvelt Park.
Worcester’s riverside
Support a range of projects to improve the attractiveness of the riverside as a visitor destination, increasing visitor numbers and economic benefit to the city.
Support Worcestershire County Cricket Club to create a Museum and Visitor Centre, celebrating the history of the sport in the city and its role in the fall of apartheid.
Increase heritage tourist numbers
Develop the national profile of The Commandery, a historic site central to the ending of the English Civil War, by investing in interpretation and making more links to national institutions.
Provide a new arts exhibition space in the city centre.