Worcester secures £2.96m Government investment

Worcester City Council has secured £2.96 million to invest in the city from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.


The money will be used for a wide range of initiatives in the city, including boosting Worcester’s profile as a visitor destination; support for community schemes, the arts and business; and energy efficiency.


The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is the successor to the European Structural Fund, and this funding allocation builds on the City Council’s previous success in securing more than £40 million from national schemes including the Future High Streets Fund and the Towns Fund.


Councillor Chris Mitchell, Joint Leader of Worcester City Council, said: “This is good news for the city, and demonstrates continued support from the Government for the improvements and developments that we are making in Worcester.


“Community groups, businesses and creative organisations will benefit from the initiatives that this £2.96 million will support, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to supporting communities in terms of levelling-up.”


Part of the UKSPF investment will be used to support Worcester’s growing reputation as a visitor destination. There will be promotions and campaigns to attract more visitors, additional signing to help them explore the city, and improved access to the Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.


Support for communities will include an expansion of the City Council’s community grants programme, and the establishment of a heritage forum and a separate arts and culture forum, both of which would also be able to award grants.


Additionally, the City Council will commission a feasibility study into creating a new facility for applied and creative arts in Worcester.


To support the city’s businesses, £150,000 will be used to back research and innovation, and part of the UKSPF money will be used to pay for energy-efficiency assessments of business premises and grants for energy improvements.


This latest award of Government funding is the latest in a long line of public investments in the city.


Improvements to the northern part of the city centre, including the development of a new arts centre in Angel Place, are being made thanks to £17.9 million from the Future High Streets Fund.


An allocation of £19.6 million from the Towns Fund is supporting a range of projects, including the new Kepax Bridge and other boosts to walking and cycling; the redevelopment of Isaac Maddox House in the city’s Shrub Hill quarter; and a new construction skills training centre in Dines Green.


The redevelopment of the city’s Victorian railway arches as The Arches – Worcester project, which has created new creative business spaces and will soon bring a new walking and cycling route from Foregate Street station to The Hive and the riverside, has been possible thanks to a successful £3.7 million bid to the Cultural Development Fund.


Worcester is ready to light up for Christmas

Christmas is coming to Worcester – with the festive lights being switch on in a fun-packed family event on Saturday 26 November.

This year there will be more streets lit up in the city than ever before, including – for the first time – seasonal illuminations on New Road to create a closer link between the festive offers in both the city centre and St John’s.

This year’s Christmas lights are a joint effort between Worcester City Council and Worcester BID – and with low energy LED bulbs being used, this festive season will also be better for the planet.

Free and fun for all the family, the big switch-on event begins at 4pm on Saturday 26 November in Cathedral Square, with Radio Wyvern hosting live music performances from local band Split Second, school choirs, and characters from the Swan Theatre’s pantomime cast of Cinderella. The Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Adrian Gregson, will help to switch on the lights.

If Worcester residents have all been good boys and girls this year, Father Christmas might also make a special appearance.

This year’s colourful festive lights will, for the first time, extend into New Road, and Worcester BID will be supporting lights in Reindeer Court, Lower Broad Street, New Street, Friar Street, The Hopmarket and The Shambles. The latter location will have overhead festive lights for the first time, while the New Street and Friar Street lights will feature purple colours to reflect Worcester recently securing the purple flag in recognition of it being a safe night-time destination.

There will also be a trail of 12 ‘light boxes’ to be explored around the city centre, each hiding an image of one of the 12 days of Christmas. Visitors will be able to use the torch on their mobile phone to reveal the image inside each box.

Councillor Robyn Norfolk, Vice Chair of Worcester City Council’s Place and Economic Development Committee, said: “At a time when many cities are scaling back their Christmas plans, I’m very pleased to announce that Worcester’s festive lights will be better than ever. And, for the first time, the illuminations will take in New Road, creating a colourful seasonal link between our two busiest shopping areas in the city centre and St John’s.

“Despite the pressures that people are under at the moment, we hope the Christmas lights will encourage shoppers and visitors into our city and help our local businesses to enjoy a successful festive season.

“The family-friendly switch-on event on 26 November in Cathedral Square will be packed full of great free entertainment and will kick-off a fantastic programme of seasonal fun – with more to be announced very soon!”

All of Worcester’s Christmas illuminations this year will be low-energy LED lights – with over 80,000 individual LEDs in use around the city. These are kinder to the environment and are also around 85% cheaper to run.

Sam McCarthy, CEO of Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), said: “Worcester BID’s focus this year for the Christmas lights has been around the sustainability and running costs of the scheme. We have focused on ensuring that whist the lights capture the spirit of the season and help visitors and shoppers to enjoy the city centre, everything – including the LED bulbs, use of phone torches that are already charged, and quantities of lighting – has been chosen to be more sustainable this year than ever before, across many busy and popular city zones.”

This year’s extensive programme will bring Christmas lights to the main shopping streets in the city centre and St John’s, and include the traditional brightly-lit tree on the New Road roundabout.

A brand new Escape Room experience opens at The Commandery, Worcester

  • New Escape Room opens at The Commandery, Worcester, Saturday 5 November
  • Booking live now on commandery-quest.co.uk
  • Commandery Quest has been created by 12Volt: Games Studio who have created escape rooms for the award winning Shepton Mallet and Shrewsbury Prisons, as well as props and interactives for Escape Live's Horrible Histories experience.

There will be an exciting new way to experience history at Worcester’s Commandery from November when The Commmandery’s brand new Escape Rooms are launched.

Commandery Quest, created by 12Volt: Games Studio, is based on the traditional escape room experience which invites participants to complete a challenge by tackling a series of puzzles against the clock.

The Commandery is in the heart of historic Worcester, just minutes from the High Street, riverside and many pubs and restaurants, with convenient parking opposite in King Street.

Commandery Quest invites teams to explore The Commandery like never before. The Escape Room is based in the Commandery attics which are off the normal visitor route.

The Escape Room story is based around the Commandery’s role as the Royalist Headquarters in the English Civil War. Teams of 2 – 6 players will become museum curators, battling against the clock they will solve a series of puzzles to find Charles II’s lost treasure before infamous thief Arty Snitch catches up with them.

Commandery Events Officer Helen Manning says: “We are so excited to present this Escape Room with a difference – actually set in one of Worcester’s most historic buildings. We look forward to seeing if teams can rise to the challenge and beat Arty Snitch to the treasure.”

The Commandery has recruited special Games Masters to greet teams and help them with their search.


Booking is open now at www.commandery-quest.co.uk, or for more information please call The Commandery on 01905 361821.


Get to know your city employers

The Worcester News Jobs Fair is an ideal event for those looking for work, to find out more about vacancies that are currently available and to speak to local employer's face to face.

If you missed our October Fair, don't despair! A new date will be released for 2023 which will see big names returning to the Guildhall.

If you are looking for work, here is a selection of Worcester's powerhouse employers which cover a broad number of sectors.

Simply click the photos to go through to the employer's website. 


Armed Forces Careers


What makes the British Army? It’s not the weaponry or the vehicles – it’s the people.

Our vision is a competitive, adaptable and inclusive Army imbued with an unwavering will to win; where people feel they belong; where their talent is nurtured, where health is positively promoted, and opportunity maximised.

Does this sound like you? Find out more on their website. 


Step by Step

At Step by Step, we offer a completely free service to our applicants, and all information you provide will be treated with respect and kept confidential. What sets us apart from other agencies is our willingness to not simply work for you, but to work with you to get you the right job.

Our honest, friendly and professional consultants are here to help with your search for employment, and we pride ourselves as treating each and every one of our applicants as an individual, taking the time to get to know you and your exact requirements.



A-Plan is different – it’s what our clients love about us. As an advice-providing broker, we’re here to lend our expertise to help our clients find an insurance policy that’s right for them. We’ve built our business on this personalised service, and we’re proud to offer it to over 500,000 clients.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to work in an environment where you’ll be central to what we do, A-Plan is for you. And if you’re willing to develop your insurance expertise to help your career progression, we’d love to hear from you.

We’re waiting for you to get in touch so that we can explore what’s right for you.


West Mercia Police

We’ll provide the training and variety you need to let you make a real difference, plus a host of benefits from flexible hours, generous annual leave and pension contributions across job roles, from officers, to contact handlers.


Worcester City Council

We play a vital part in keeping the beautiful City of Worcester a great place to be. We work hard to build a successful future on 2000 years of history. Why not be someone who gets involved and makes a difference.  Be part of our amazing and diverse team of dedicated people to help sustain the amazing history and heritage of an increasingly modern and contemporary City. 

Help us to build a better society. 



Looking for a new job? We want to be a diverse and inclusive organisation where our people thrive. If you share our values and are talented and ambitious, we want to hear from you. We employ more than 12,500 staff throughout the UK and maintain Investors in People status.


Worcester County Council

Find a new career with Worcestershire County Council.

The Council is committed to promoting equality and diversity, and ensuring that all appointments are made based on the suitability of a candidate to the role only.

We are a 'Disability Confident Employer', which means we will guarantee an interview to any candidate with a disability who shows that they meet the essential criteria for the advertised role.




Jobseekers and employers alike were delighted to see the Worcester News Jobs Fair making a welcome return in partnership with Worcester BID.

The fair took place at Worcester's Guildhall in the heart of the city centre's High Street. A second fair date is in the diary for 2023 with more information coming in the new year. Keep an eye out on our socials to find out the next date to meet the employers face to face.

Join us for our October Jobs Fair

Jobseekers and employers alike will be delighted to hear that the Worcester News Jobs Fair is making a welcome return in partnership with Worcester BID.

The fair will take place at Worcester's Guildhall in the heart of the city centre's High Street. Two events are being planned with the first taking place on Thursday, October 13.

Both events are being sponsored by Worcester BID.

The aim of Worcester BIDs involvement is to support businesses to exhibit, and as part of both job fairs, the BID is introducing a new public facing section for advice and support: The Support Hub.



Worcester BID have supported the following businesses who will appear at the October Jobs Fair (click on the photo to find out more):


Armed Forces Careers

Step by Step


West Mercia Police

Worcester City Council


Worcester County Council


Regional editor for Worcester News, Stephanie Preece said: "We know that finding the right candidates for your business can be difficult and trawling through CVs online isn’t always the best way to find potential employees. For this reason, the fair will be a great opportunity for employers to meet job seekers in the local area. Whether you are looking to recruit seasonal staff for the festive period, full-time or part-time workers, apprentices or volunteers – the fair will be an ideal place for you to connect with the right people."

Worcester BID Chief Executive Sam McCarthy said: “We are thrilled to partner with the Worcester News Jobs Fair. Supporting the businesses that make our city great. With over 67% independent businesses Worcester City is a fantastic place to work. Over the last 24 months businesses have faced more challenges then ever with Covid and now the cost of living rise. As the Businesses Improvement District, our aims are to support the city ensuring Worcester businesses still thrive. We will be organising a support hub as part of the event offering CV writing advice, interview support, apprenticeships packages, training courses and perks to working within the city centre. We look forward to welcoming you in October and supporting your business.”

The Support Hub consists of a central section to the fair that provides support and advice. This support will be provided by the following businesses: Worcestershire LEP, Careers Worc Youth Hub (based in The Hive), Heart of Worcestershire College who will have information on adult learning and apprenticeships and Worcester University providing information on training courses at the university.

The October fair is an ideal place for local employers to talk to job seekers - whether they are looking for skilled full-time workers, seasonal staff or casual employees.

A wide variety of sectors will be represented from healthcare providers to retailers, manufacturing to administration and lots more in between!


Make sure to come on down to The Guildhall, Worcester to meet the recruiters on Thursday 13TH of October if you are looking for work or a career change.

Worcester Waves the Purple Flag

Worcester city centre has been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag accreditation for its evening and night-time economy (ENTE), following a successful application process by the city. 


The Purple Flag is a nationwide award; it recognises Worcester as a vibrant destination for dining, entertainment and culture between the hours of 17.00 and 05.00, successfully promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.

The accreditation process in Worcester has been led over the past seven months by Worcester BID, in partnership with other city organisations Worcester City Council, and West Mercia Police.

Sam McCarthy, Chief Executive for Worcester BID, said: “Purple Flag accreditation demonstrates excellence in the evening and night-time economy. Worcester BID has been the lead delivery partner for the application, with Worcester City Council and West Mercia Police as supporting partners to achieve the status for the city.  Purple Flag assesses all areas of the night-time economy, looking at safety measures and how partners work together utilising city resources such as CCTV and the CityNet radio scheme. They also look into city enhancements, ensuring a feeling of greater safety.  For example, New Street and Friar Street’s festoon lighting recently added by Worcester BID creates a vibrant atmosphere but also adds additional lighting to the area, making it feel safer.”




To support the Purple Flag application, Worcester BID is delivering Best Bar None accreditation which is a scheme supported by the Home Office and assesses licensed venues, ensuring they are meeting licence conditions and celebrating their successes where they go above and beyond.  Worcester BID has also been working to improve community safety by training businesses in first aid, the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), and the treatment catastrophic bleeding, as well as installing five new AED kits within late licensed venues around the city.  The next steps for this project are installing community AED kits externally to ensure there is 24/7 accessibility to life saving equipment.
















Sam McCarthy continues: “Worcester achieving Purple Flag status reassures and builds consumer confidence that our city is a safe and vibrant place. It will also help to put Worcester on the map and encourage prospective investors to set up businesses, families to make Worcester their home, and students to select Worcester University as their first choice to study.”

Nicki Williams, Vice Chair for Worcester BID says: “Everyone has worked incredibly hard to get this accolade.  Our city businesses will notice such a positive impact through having this award.  It represents another positive development by these city partnerships, led by the BID in this case, to improve our city.”

Councillor Marc Bayliss, Joint Leader of Worcester City Council: “Worcester has a growing reputation as a great destination for shopping, sight-seeing, leisure and much more. Purple Flag status confirms that our city is a great place for a relaxing, enjoyable and safe night out and provides a great basis for boosting Worcester’s popularity even further.”

Superintendent Rebecca Love said: “The award of the Purple Flag, which is a nationally recognised award, is a reflection of the fantastic partnership working taking place within the city. For a number of years, West Mercia Police have actively supported and worked with the Worcester BID, working closely and collaboratively to make a very real difference to the lives of people living, working and visiting Worcester.
















“The improvements to local infrastructure such as increased and targeted CCTV, improved lighting and a partners connected radio system has enabled popular venues in and around the city to be attractive to the public, encouraging families and friends to gather and enjoy their time in the City. My local Safer Neighbourhood and Problem Solving Teams compliment the hard work and dedication of our partners and of my wider team of officers and staff in supporting our community.”

Rachael Mitchell, General Manager at Worcester Whitehouse hotel adds: “This award is a reflection of the hard work between Worcester BID and the night-time economy businesses that go out of their way to ensure the city is a safe, interesting and engaging environment offering a wide range of services and facilities to not only its own residents, but also customers and visitors from further afield.  This is most important when the hotel is liaising with domestic and international travellers and could make the difference of whether they come to stay in Worcester or not.”

Dean Hill, director of Tramps, Velvet and Mode, comments: “Achieving Purple Flag, along with the Best Bar none accreditations, supports the positive steps that we as licensees and Worcester BID are making to raise the profile of Worcester and make visitors feel safe and have an enjoyable time.  As a long-standing night club business owner and resident of Worcester I'd like to thank everyone involved in achieving this award for Worcester.”

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “I am delighted to hear Worcester city centre has been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag award.

“I am committed to tackling the traumatic impact anti-social behaviour has on people’s lives. Thanks to my investment of £510,000 through the Safer Streets fund and strong partnership working, we have been able to reduce the number of anti-social behaviour incidents dramatically.

"This year there has been a 47% reduction in the number of anti-social behaviour incidents from April to August compared to the same period in 2021. I want to see the number of incidents continue to go down and with the implementation of modern safety measures like LED streetlights and additional CCTV cameras, I will continue to work with partners to make South Worcestershire even safer.”






For further information on Purple Flag, please visit www.worcesterbid.com.

Events in city centre - A notice from Worcester City Council


Saturday 17 September

Worcester Music Festival stage in Cathedral Square, live performances from 11am to 5pm. For more details visit www.worcestermusicfestival.co.uk

Sunday 18 September

Worcester Music Festival stage in Cathedral Square, live performances from 11am to 3pm.

A Remembrance Service for Queen Elizabeth II will be held at Worcester Cathedral from 4pm to 5pm.

Monday 19 September

The state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will be livestreamed to a screen in Cathedral Square. The funeral takes place from 11am, however television coverage is likely to be broadcast throughout the day.

We would like all businesses in the immediate vicinity to be aware of these activities taking place. If you have any questions please contact citycentre@worcester.gov.uk

Thank you.

Michelle Newell

Tourism and Events

Worcester City Council





Following rumours of an energy prize freeze, over 150,000 businesses from across the UK are urging Government to act on spiralling energy costs which are proving more detrimental than the pandemic.

The #BusinessSOS campaign warns of mass closure and redundancies if immediate and effective action isn’t taken – the true situation that Britain faces today.

The newly formed #BusinessSOS campaign, founded by organisations representing over 150,000 retail, leisure, hospitality and tourism businesses warns harm caused by the spiralling energy crisis is superseding the pandemic with the potential to cause irreversible damage to UK high streets and the economy.

The #BusinessSOS campaign believes mass closures and redundancies are inevitable if Government does not swiftly implement measures that alleviate the critical pressures that businesses, like households, have been facing since April 2022.


#BusinessSOS three-point-plan to support ailing businesses:

Reduce VAT
• Headline rate reduced from 20% to 12.5%
• Business energy bills reduced from 20% to 5% to match domestic billing

Business Rates Relief
• 100% rate relief until 31st March 2023

Energy Rate Relief
• A discounted kwh price on all business energy bills




Matthew Sims, Founder of #BusinessSOS campaign and CEO of Croydon BID said:
“The new Prime Minister has days to save the high street as we know it. The impending announcement on how the Government will tackle the energy crisis facing businesses will either ensure businesses can remain trading or set in motion mass closures and redundancies. To say the energy crisis is worse that the pandemic is not an understatement, it is the reality facing businesses today and why the clock is ticking for the new Government to provide clarity and introduce measures providing tangible and immediate relief.”


Sam McCarthy, Chief Executive Worcester BID said:
“Government needs to act swiftly and decisively on rising energy costs to reassure businesses and communities across Worcestershire and the UK who are now at breaking point. Further delay could lead to many business owners and households going into debt, closure, and unemployment.

As a business community we need to work together. Worcester is proud to have 67% of its city made up of independent businesses now is the time to support local and keep our local
economy going.”

Andrew Taylor, Founder of #BusinessSOS campaign and Managing Director of Bart & Taylor said:
“Without immediate intervention local communities will change forever as they lose their social spaces. For the first time in living memory, energy costs are now greater than rent and increasing on a daily basis in the absence of any intervention or price cap since April. After surviving the pandemic it seems ludicrous that the needs of businesses are currently not being heard and could see the billions of funding provided during the pandemic go to waste.”

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said:
“The hospitality sector is crucial to delivering the business-led growth the new Government is striving for, but we are facing an existential crisis due to soaring energy bills. We’re encouraged by the new Prime Minister’s commitment to tackling energy prices, but we need to see urgent, comprehensive action. As well as a price freeze, we need to see a cut to VAT and a business rates holiday if businesses in the sector are to have any hope of making it through the winter.”

Bill Addy CEO of Liverpool BID and Chair of The BID Foundation said:
“Businesses recognise that they benefited from the immediate support given them during the pandemic but we are in danger of all that support being thrown away as those same businesses that have worked valiantly to recover will be decimated by the cost of living crisis. Business is now at a watershed moment that needs an urgent response from our new Prime Minister, they need hope and certainty if they are to survive. It is business that will ensure that UK can grew the economy out of the coming recession but do that business needs to survive and that requires urgent action.”

Ojay McDonald, CEO of Association of Town and City Management said:
“Right now, businesses are already deciding to scale back or shut up shop for good. The knock-on impact on employment is unimaginably bad. We need decisive action from the
government now to save the high street. Let's not shy away from how comprehensive this support needs to be. Energy prices have been unsustainable for months. We are at the stage where a price freeze is inadequate.
Discounts on the cost of energy are vital. We also need to halt the decline of consumer confidence to keep businesses trading. That's why this three-point plan on energy, VAT and businesses rates as a combination is the right route to take.”

Michael Kill, CEO of Night Time Industries Association said:
“Over the last week we have seen a huge escalation in closure notices from pubs, bars, restaurants, venues and clubs across the country, with over 70% of businesses stating they will be financially compromised within weeks, all of which have stated untenable operating costs as reasons too close.”

“The industry's future is finely balanced between the delivery of an imminent survival package by the new Chancellor and continued consumer spend and confidence!”


Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said:

“The pub and brewing sector makes a huge contribution to our economy in high streets and local communities throughout the country, yet it still remains in a precarious position after the pandemic. Immediate action on energy is critical, but investment in our sector for the longterm is also essential. As the PM works towards a fiscal statement and full budget we hope she will seriously consider a cut to business rates and VAT so Britain’s pubs and brewers can get back on their feet fully and thrive in the communities they proudly serve.”


Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound said,
“For the UK’s inbound visitor economy, a £28.4 billion export industry, to continue its recovery and exceed pre-pandemic levels, a fully functioning domestic leisure, retail and hospitality industry is absolutely paramount, however the current inflation and energy crisis is set to derail this. We need swift and decisive action from Government to safeguard businesses and jobs across the country.”

Worcester BID are sponsoring Worcester Paint Fest!

Worcester BID are proud to announce that were sponsoring 2 Artists for the Worcester Paint Festival!


Pogo Stencils

Pogo Stencils is a French artist who specialises in complex, multi-layer stencils. A big name in the Cheltenham Paint Festival 2018 & 2022, he has painted at Upfest, Beeston Paint Festival, Southsea Paint Jam and various locations in Britain.


Helen Haynes Artist

A Worcester based artist who specialises in black and white to produce intricate designs. She loves the challenge of working with two colours. Inspired by the outdoors and having an eye for detail. She even painted Inky the elephant at last year's elephant trail!.

Make sure to come on down to enjoy the festival over the 17th and 18th of September.

Worcester Jobs Fair

Worcester BID are proudly partnering with Worcester News to deliver the jobs fair in October at the Guildhall.

To support businesses with recruitment and attending the fair, Worcester BID are covering half the costs of BID exhibitors. For more details please read the Jobs Fair 2022 Media Pack. CLICK HERE.

The fair acts to support local businesses with recruitment and to further help residents to find work to support with the rising cost of living.

BID Exhibitors receive the following a stand in prime location, extensive advertising on Worcester News and Worcester BID channels, including live on the day posting, news posts and extensive social media impressions.


To enquire about a stall please email info@worcesterbid.com closing date for stall sign up for BID business offer is 16th September 2022.