Activating the city of Worcester: why do Worcester BID do it?

Worcester boasts a diverse array of urban spaces, ranging from Tudor housing and cobbled paths to the modern design of the Hive building. Yet, amidst this diversity, there is a common thread—activation of space. This concept lies at the heart of a thriving city. But what exactly does it entail?

In recent years, Worcester BID has led transformative initiatives across the cityscape. From captivating aerial displays on New Street, Friar Street, and the Shambles to the addition of extra festive lighting on Broad Street, street art on wayfinding signs, and the introduction of vibrant city planters and year-round floral displays, these endeavours are examples of activation of space. Looking ahead, Worcester BID plans to further invigorate neglected areas, transforming a neglected overgrown area at the base of Broad Street into a green space teeming with biodiversity and increasing the number of striking city artworks. Such initiatives not only enhance the visual appeal of the city but also serve to increase dwell time and footfall, cultivating a vibrant and dynamic urban environment for all to enjoy.

Dwell time, the duration individuals spend in a specific location, holds significance for businesses and communities alike. By transforming city spaces—such as converting neglected corners into lush green areas with seating—Worcester can create inviting environments that encourage prolonged engagement.

The activation of spaces naturally leads to an upsurge in footfall. When areas undergo revitalisation through attractive enhancements, people are drawn to explore and discover. This surge in pedestrian traffic translates into tangible benefits for local businesses, offering fresh marketing opportunities and ultimately driving sales. An example is The Big Spring Window Trail, featuring 50 beautifully hand-drawn floral business windows. Visitors can download a map for this free floral trail from Worcester BID’s website (www.worcesterbid.com/2024/04/02/thebigspring) and share their experiences using the hashtag #TheBigSpring.

Beyond the economic benefits, activating spaces also enhances Worcester’s aesthetic appeal. Beautifying neglected areas through greening and rewilding, public art, and creative lighting not only makes the city more visually appealing but also instils a sense of pride among residents whilst creating memorable experiences for both locals and visitors.

In conclusion, activating Worcester’s spaces is not just about improving aesthetics; it’s about creating dynamic, inclusive, and thriving urban environments. By enhancing dwell time, increasing footfall, and improving the city’s appearance, Worcester can unlock its full potential as a vibrant and welcoming place to live, work, and visit.


Funding the Future: What do you want to see Worcester do next?

Worcester’s transformation owes much to effective city centre management and strategic funding allocation. Four primary funding streams are driving Worcester’s progress: the Future High Streets Fund (£17.9 million), UK Shared Prosperity Fund (£2.96 million), Cultural Development Fund (£3 million), and Levelling Up Funding, with recent news of an additional £5 million injection into Worcester’s cultural landscape, bringing total capital funding over five years to £46 million for Levelling up funding alone.

Since 2019, Levelling Up Funding has been used to revitalise unused spaces like the train arches into vibrant venues for dining, arts, and activities, contributing to Worcester’s cultural growth. The recent £5 million boost will sustain this momentum, facilitating more art projects and community initiatives.

In 2019, Worcester City Council secured £3 million from the Cultural Development Fund to enhance Worcester’s profile as a visitor destination, foster festivals like Light Night, and support local businesses. Festivals such as the Victorian Fayre and Paint Festival have become integral to Worcester’s cultural tapestry, drawing diverse crowds.

To ensure continued funding, collaboration with entities like Arts Council England is essential for sustaining Worcester’s festival momentum and visitor influx.

Worcester BID is seeking ways to sustain the momentum by creating dedicated spaces for youth engagement and promoting discussions on implementation tailored to residents, visitors, and students between city partners. The success of initiatives like Teenage Markets in other regions underscores the potential for similar models in Worcester. Championed by Councillor Joe Bennett, Teenage Markets empower young entrepreneurs to showcase their talents and sell goods at public markets run by teenagers for the community.

As we contemplate Worcester’s future, community input is invaluable. What are your thoughts on providing dedicated spaces for young people in Worcester? What other initiatives would you like to see?

Let’s envision a Worcester that thrives for all its residents.


Worcester BID's Safer Streets Officer: Making a Difference

In the bustling heart of Worcester, the Worcester BID’s Safer Streets officer is working diligently to ensure safety and security for businesses and visitors alike. Since June 20th, 2023, the Worcester Business Improvement District’s (BID) Safer Streets Officer has been patrolling and intervening, making a significant impact on the community.

The officer’s efforts have not only prevented losses but also led to the recovery of significant amounts of stolen stock and money, providing much-needed relief to affected businesses and individuals, with the total stolen stock and money recovered now totalling £15,803.14!

 

The successes of the Worcester BIDs Safer Streets Officer stem from great partnership working. Collaborating with West Merica Police, central security teams such as Crowngate and Cathedral Square and various stakeholders, their efforts are emblematic of a collective resolve to foster safer shared spaces in Worcester. By pooling resources, knowledge, and expertise, all parties have been working hard to address community safety comprehensively, deploying proactive strategies and interventions to mitigate risks, prevent incidents, and ensure the well-being of residents and visitors alike.

 

The Worcester BIDs Safer Streets Officer has attended and accomplished the following during these 9 months:

  • 64 theft incidents attended
  • 59 stops/recoveries
  • 16 first aid interventions
  • 88 offences deterred
  • 19 counts of intelligence gathering and monitoring
  • 5 active interventions ensuring staff safety
  • 21 counts of assisting Police and witnessing arrests
  • 17 assistances with homeless and welfare checks
  • 27 counts of training provision
  • 8 counts of combatting fraud and illegal activities
  • 6 counts curbing sales of stolen goods
  • 2 missing persons cases assisted with
  • 21 enforcements of PSPO regulations

The Safer Streets Officer role within Worcester BID has provided an additional layer of protection for the business community, residents, and visitors. By effectively collaborating with partners, they have helped to enhance the city’s security landscape, creating a safer environment for all.

Read more about Worcester BID’s safety measures on their website at www.worcesterbid.com/promote/safer-city.


The Big Spring: Download the Map and take the Trail!

Spring has officially arrived in Worcester! With 50 windows now adorned with festive decorations by local artist Catt Standen, we’re thrilled to present the trail map to everyone. Embark on a city walk and discover the stunning floral displays on our business windows this Easter—a delightful, cost-free adventure for the family. Access the BID trail map below!

Download the map PDF here: Spring Window Art Map

Remember to share your photos with us by tagging @makeitworc on Instagram, or @worcesterbid on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #thebigspring!


Safe Space Worcester: From Strength To Strength

Worcester BID has now released the newest Safe Space stats! Safe Space, a moving venue of compassion and care takes to our streets every Friday and Saturday night, as well as during events, providing a safe environment for residents, students, and visitors alike.

Safe Space is an organisation run by a team of dedicated professionals. It’s not just a physical location in the form of a Safe Space vehicle, but a helping hand for anyone in need. Safe Space welcomes everyone with open arms, free of charge, and has already helped nearly 100 city-goers (as of the end of February 2024 since December 15, 2023). The ethos of Safe Space is simple: to offer medical and welfare support without any preconceived notions.

According to the latest statistics, Safe Space has looked after a total of 98 events. Within these events, they have provided care in various categories: welfare (34 cases (35%)), medical (48 cases (49%)), mental health (8 cases (8%)), police assistance (1 case (1%)), and enquiry (7 cases (7%)). These figures underscore the breadth of Safe Space’s reach and the diverse range of support it offers to the community.

Sam McCarthy, Worcester BID CEO said, “We are proud to serve the community via Safe Space Worcester and would like to thank all of our primary and supporting partners for their assistance in making this project possible.”

In addition to ensuring the safety and well-being of 98 individuals in Worcester, the interventions and care delivered by the Safe Space team have resulted in a notable decrease in ambulance callouts, saving the NHS a minimum of £9500. This figure is conservative, denoting the minimum amount saved according to NHS data regarding the cost of an ambulance call-out. However, the actual amount saved may be much higher than the stated figure. This fantastic stat provides an additional layer of justification for the need for Safe Space in Worcester’s nighttime economy, highlighting the tangible impact of Safe Space on both public health, nighttime business operations and financial resources.

Since its inaugural night, the Safe Space team have received fabulous feedback from stakeholders, parents, friends, partners, Police Teams, and Safe Space users. Richard Nash, lead medic at Safe Space Worcester said, “The initiative has certainly shown its worth over the first 3 months of operation and we are looking forward to providing ongoing support and welfare.”

Worcester BID, Safe Space partners and the Safe Space team have collectively expressed commitment to providing sustained support and care to the community moving forward.

For more information and to stay up to date, follow Safe Space on social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

Take a look at our latest stats in the below infographic.

Download the latest stats