Reflecting on One Year of the BID Safer Streets Initiative

Worcester remains steadfast in its commitment to nurturing partnerships and delivering ongoing support to foster a thriving and safe business community.

This partnership includes West Mercia Police, who have recently executed Operation Sceptre with remarkable success, resulting in the recovery of 446 knives. This operation, which engaged with schools and communities, provided knife surrender points to eliminate potential weapons from our streets.

Recently, a programme from West Merica Police and Worcester SNT called Operation Forefront, saw Worcester BID attend the morning Police briefing and conduct business visits within our local retailers, whilst our Safer Streets officer provided medical support and added increased visibility. The increased visibility achieved through Operation Forefront was great to see, and we saw the beneficial outcomes first-hand to the public, businesses, residents, and visitors.

Worcester Business Improvement District (BID) is marking a year’s milestone in Worcester’s security landscape. Wayne Price, the Safer Streets Officer for BID, has now provided an extra layer of security in the city centre for one year. Since June 20th, 2023, Price’s role has been instrumental in supporting businesses city-wide, collaborating with security personnel, such as Cathedral Square and Crowngate teams and West Mercia Police City SNT to implement initiatives and interventions. Here’s a comprehensive overview of their year-long endeavours:

– Instances of Stoppage/Recovery: 68

– Provision of First Aid: 19 cases

– Deterrence Actions: 88 incidents

– Intelligence Gathering/Monitoring: 26 cases

– Ensuring Staff Safety: 7 instances

– Assisting Police/Witness Arrests: 24 occasions

– Engaging with Homeless Individuals and Welfare Checks: 19 instances

– Conducting Training Sessions: 29 engagements

– Combatting Fraud: 8 cases

– Dealing with Sales of Stolen Goods: 6 incidents

– Handling Missing Persons Reports: 2 cases

– Enforcing Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO): 21 actions

– Addressing Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB): 42 interventions

– Recovery of Stock and Money: Totalling £20,100.95

 

The financial impact of the Safer Streets Officer is substantial, with a total recovery of £20,100.95 in stock and money for businesses and city dwellers throughout the year. Notable peaks in recoveries, such as October 2023 (£2979.36) and May 2024 (£2768.95), underscore the value of this initiative in supporting the city’s commercial landscape.

Worcester BID is committed to continuing the Safer Streets Officer role to address the evolving needs and objectives of local businesses and partners, ensuring continued progress in all partner objectives in making Worcester a safer place.


Aerial Displays to Brighten Worcester This Summer

Worcester is about to get a vibrant splash of colour as summer aerial displays return to the city at the end of June!

In an effort by Worcester BID beloved bunting will be back in our city’s streets. These vivid bunting displays will feature the distinctive Worcester Colour Palette, created by The Colour Palette Company, celebrating the city’s rich heritage with hues named Elgar Bronze, Saucy Orange, Hive Gold, Cathedral Stone, Diglis Deep Blue, and Pear Black.

This colourful initiative ties in with the new artwork by local artist Estee Angeline at Foregate Street Station unveiled in March. This art project, spearheaded by The Art Society Worcester and its chairperson Maggie Keeble, involved a coalition of local partners, including Worcestershire’s Community Rail Partnership, Worcester BID, and The Colour Palette Company, with support from West Midlands Railways and the Community Rail Network.

Continuing the city’s seasonal eye-catching displays, Worcester BID is also set to install a stunning new exhibition on Friar Street and New Street. Building on the success of last year’s popular umbrella display, which garnered international attention, this year will see giant mesh spheres suspended from the wiring. The infrastructure that allows for these displays was first put up in 2021 via extensive work from the BID, allowing the street to be vibrantly activated for the first time. This infrastructure has allowed BID to add year-round festoon lighting, dazzling Christmas displays, and whimsical summer decorations like umbrellas, lampshades, watering cans, ladybirds, and topiary balls, making the street a hit with photographers and selfie-takers.

The new aerial displays will be installed in the city over three days and will be ready to dazzle residents and visitors alike just in time for summer.

Get ready, Worcester—our city streets are about to become more vibrant than ever! Who else is excited?


Take the Worcester Sounds x Three Choirs Festival Trail

Listen to the trail here

This Worcester Sounds Trail is developed in partnership between Worcester BID and Three Choirs Festival. 

The Three Choirs Festival is a week-long programme of world-class music-making, featuring choral and orchestral concerts, solo and chamber music recitals, talks, cathedral services, theatre, exhibitions, and walks, rotating each summer between the beautiful English cathedral cities of Gloucester, Hereford, and Worcester. This year we are lucky to have the festival in Worcester.

To celebrate we are hosting a musical trail with musical highlights that you can hear at the Festival which will take place in the city between July 27 and August 3.

When you find a board, scan the code to listen to some great music that will transport you straight to the festival. You can find some interesting extra information by each trail shield, or catch up below.

1️⃣Gustav Holst / The Cloud Messenger

🎵You are now listening to Gustav Holst, The Cloud Messenger

Gustav Holst was born in Cheltenham in 1874. He enjoyed writing music from when he was a boy, and his first big success as a composer came when he was just 18 years old. Nowadays he is best known for his musical work, The Planets, inspired by his love of astrology and horoscopes.

Composer Gustav Holst was fascinated by Indian culture, stories and language, and his piece The Cloud Messenger tells the story of a nature spirit who asks a cloud to take a message to his wife in the Himalayan Mountains. It is full of rich, colourful music – does it make you imagine being in a different country?

 

2️⃣Charles Villiers Stanford / The Blue Bird

🎵You are now listening to Charles Villiers Stanford, The Blue Bird

Charles Villiers Stanford was born in Ireland in 1852. His father wanted him to become a lawyer, but Stanford’s love of music made him determined to succeed as a musician and he became one of the most popular composers of his time. He made a lasting impact on British music by teaching and helping many young people who would become future great composers themselves.

The Blue Bird by Irish composer Charles Stanford is a beautiful song which sets the words of a poem by Mary Coleridge to music. It is written to be sung by a small group of singers using different voice parts. Listen out for the top voice part – the soprano – singing the word ‘blue’ over the top of the rest of the choir.

 

3️⃣Edward Elgar / Serenade for Strings

🎵You are now listening to Edward Elgar, Serenade for Strings

Edward Elgar was born in Lower Broadheath in 1857. He came from an ordinary family without much money, but by the end of his life he had been knighted, appointed Master of the King’s Musick, and is now thought of as one of the greatest ever English composers. His music is much loved and is often played at important events and featured in films.

Edward Elgar’s Serenade for Strings was written before he was famous, but it is often performed at concerts and is very popular. It was Elgar’s favourite piece from everything that he wrote. Listen out for the romantic violin tune singing out over the top of the gentle music from the other string instruments.

 

4️⃣Judith Weir / The Song Sung True

🎵You are now listening to Judith Weir, The Song Sung True

Judith Weir was born in Cambridge in 1954. She studied music, and then went on to teach at several different universities, as well as writing music for many famous choirs and orchestras. She is Master of the King’s Music and wrote pieces for King Charles’ coronation in 2023, as well as for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

O Sweet Spontaneous Earth by Judith Weir sets the words of three poems to music, describing what it feels like to live on our planet, like the Earth bringing forth new life every spring and the stars shining in the sky above us while we sleep. There isn’t a recording, so here is one of Judith’s other pieces to give you an idea of what her music sounds like.

 

5️⃣Sarah Nicholls / Skim II

🎵 You are now listening to Sarah Nicholls, Skim II

Sarah Nicholls plays the piano and writes her own music. She invented her piano herself and it is very different to a normal piano. It is 2.5m tall and inside out! This means that Sarah can use the strings and the inside of the piano to make music, as well as pressing the keys.

This piece by Sarah Nicholls, Skim II, is played on Sarah’s inside out piano!  Listen out for what sounds different to a normal piano in her calming, peaceful music.

 

6️⃣Bob Chilcott / The Angry Planet

🎵You are now listening to Bob Chilcott, The Angry Planet

Bob Chilcott was born in Plymouth in 1955 and has loved music since he was a little boy when he sang in the famous choir of King’s College, Cambridge. He works as a full-time composer and conductor, writing music that has been performed worldwide. He is particularly good at writing great music for children to sing.

Bob Chilcott’s piece, The Angry Planet, uses animals’ voices to tell us how humans hurt our world and how we need to love and care for our environment. In this part of the piece, an otter sings about swimming in a river, rolling and rippling through the water. Listen to the joy and flashes of light shown in the music.

 

7️⃣Cameron Biles-Liddell / Yr Afon Yn Awyr

🎵You are now listening to Cameron Biles-Liddell, Yr Afon Yn Awyr

Cameron Biles-Liddell plays the piano and writes his own music. He was inspired to become a musician by his Grandad who used to be an opera singer in London. Cameron loves Wales, the place where he lives, and tries to paint pictures of nature and the Welsh countryside in much of the music that he writes.

Cameron Biles-Liddell’s piece Yr Afon Yn Awyr – The River in the Sky – is a musical picture of the water in the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales, where the canal flows over the top of the River Dee. Listen out for the splashing of the water as it flows over the aqueduct and on through Wales and beyond.

 

8️⃣Hans Zimmer / Interstellar

🎵You are now listening to Hans Zimmer, Interstellar

Hans Zimmer was born in Germany in 1957. He writes music for films and is one of Hollywood’s most successful composers, winning an Oscar for the music he wrote for Disney’s film, The Lion King. Hans never enjoyed music lessons when he was growing up so taught himself how to play, but says that he could always hear music in his head.

The incredible music for the hit film Interstellar was written by Hans Zimmer, who thinks of it as one of the best pieces he has ever written. In this thrilling clip, you can hear the organ playing. The intense, epic music builds suspense and keeps you on the edge of your seat as you listen.

 

9️⃣Paul Mealor / Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal

🎵You are now listening to Paul Mealor, Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal

Paul Mealor was born in 1975 in Wales and now teaches young people at University how to write music. His music first became famous when he wrote a piece performed at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, and he has since written pieces performed at King Charles’ Coronation in 2023.

Ringed with the Azure World (Four Madrigals on Birds) is a piece which composer Paul Mealor has written for this year’s Three Choirs Festival and will be performed for the first time in Worcester Cathedral this summer. It sets the words of four poems describing an eagle, a swan, a nightingale and a bluebird. There isn’t a recording of this piece yet as it is brand new, but here is one of Paul’s other pieces to give you an idea of what his music sounds like, Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal.

 

🔟Nathan James Dearden / Moral and Interludes

🎵You are now listening to Nathan James Dearden, Moral and Interludes

Nathan James Dearden was born in 1992 in Wales, he composes his own music, as well as conducting choirs like the National Youth Choir of Wales. His music has been performed by many famous choirs and orchestras in this country and all over the world, in concerts and on the radio.

Messages is a piece which composer Nathan James Dearden has written for this year’s Three Choirs Festival. It sets the words of a series of messages from throughout history. There isn’t a recording of this piece yet as it is brand new, but here is one of Nathan’s other pieces to give you an idea of what his music sounds like.

 

1️⃣1️⃣Francesco Scarlatti / Kyrie

🎵You are now listening to Francesco Scarlatti, Kyrie

Composer Francesco Scarlatti was born in Sicily in 1666. Both his younger brother and his nephew also wrote music. He played the violin in the royal court in Naples and later travelled around Europe, living in both London and Dublin, where he probably worked in orchestras playing music in theatres.

Composer Francesco Scarlatti’s beautiful composition, Kyrie, is very unusual as it was written for 16 different voice parts to sing all at once, which is a lot more voices than most pieces are written for! How many of the different voice parts can you count as you listen?

 

1️⃣2️⃣Sarah Kirkland Snider / Sanctus

🎵You are now listening to Sarah Kirkland Snider, Mass for the Endangered

Sarah Kirkland Snider was born in America in 1973. Her family weren’t musical, and when she was little she used to knock on the doors of her neighbours’ houses and ask to play their pianos as she didn’t have one. She worked as a lawyer before deciding to write music full-time instead.

Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Mass for the Endangered is written as a prayer for endangered animals and their under-threat habitats. The beautiful music asks us to take care of the world we share with so many other animals. Listen out for the rippling sound of the harp underneath the voices singing.

 

1️⃣3️⃣Cecilia McDowall / Shipping Forecast

🎵You are now listening to Cecilia McDowall, The Shipping Forecast 

Cecilia McDowall was born in London in 1951. She writes her own music,  performed by many famous choirs and orchestras in this country and all over the world in both concerts and on the radio. She has been asked to write special pieces of music by many different people and organisations, including the Scott Polar Research Institute.

Shipping Forecast by composer Cecilia McDowall is a piece of music all about the sea, setting the words of poems and also snippets from the shipping forecast itself. This clip from the piece is very energetic and lively – you can hear how the music is always moving on, constantly in motion like the sea.

 

1️⃣4️⃣Michael Tippett / String Quartet No 2

🎵You are now listening to Michael Tippett, String Quartet No 2

Michael Tippett was born in 1905 and his music became well-known after the Second World War – he was a pacifist and was imprisoned for two months because he wouldn’t fight. His music became popular both in this country and in America, and he was influenced by jazz and blues as well as other classical music.

This string quartet by composer Michael Tippett is known for its lively, dancing rhythms, as well as its spiky tunes. It was written for two violins, a viola and a cello – can you pick out the different instruments when you listen?

 

1️⃣5️⃣Ralph Vaughan Williams / Prelude ‘49th Parallel’

🎵You are now listening to Ralph Vaughan Williams, Prelude ‘49th Parallel 

Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was born in Gloucestershire in 1872. When he was little he learned to play the piano and the violin and loved English folk songs, which he collected and wrote down. Many people think that his pieces have a very ‘English’ sound because of these traditional tunes shining through his music. He wrote many famous, well-loved works, such as The Lark Ascending.

Prelude ‘49th Parallel’ was written by composer Ralph Vaughan Williams as music for a wartime film, 49th Parallel, about a German U-boat crew stranded in Canada. This piece is performed by a brass band, it sounds sad, yet full and warm.


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.


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!


We are going ‘nutcrackers’ over the Starlight Parade and Trail this Christmas

The Hive Library is thrilled to announce the return of the lantern parade, an event that has been much missed since the pandemic restrictions in 2020. This year, The Hive has partnered with Worcester City Council, Worcester BID, local Artist Catt Standen, and Crowngate Shopping Centre, to make the return of the event bigger and better than ever before. The Starlight Parade and Trail is set to be enlightening! The enchantment of a certain magical ballet is in the air, and we’ve sprinkled a dash of its brilliance throughout our lantern-lit evening.

The Starlight Parade will take place on Saturday 25th November at 4pm starting from The Hive and ending at Cathedral Square. Invited students from local schools as well as a team of volunteers and creatives will adorn the streets of Worcester with handmade lanterns.

Artists Anna Best and Catt Standen have been visiting the city’s schools this month, working with students to build willow lanterns and to tell them more about the parade. Lantern decorating workshops will also take place at The Hive throughout November and December, where families and children are encouraged to decorate their own lantern before lining the streets to welcome and watch the parade. The public is invited to watch the spectacle by lining the route of the Starlight Parade: a great place to watch is the High Street!

Local artist Catt Standen has also produced four amazing showstopper lanterns for the Starlight Parade around the theme of the famous ballet, The Nutcracker. The special showstoppers are funded by Worcester BID and will stand 6 feet tall upon puppeteers! If you attend, you will see a Storybook, the magical Mouse King, the Nutcracker and the sparkling Sugarplum Fairy Princess.

The parade will start at 4pm from The Hive, making its way down past the bus station and Mode Nightclub, across the market stalls at Angel Place, turning left onto Broad Street before making the final stretch down Worcester High Street finishing at Cathedral Square.

The Starlight Parade coincides with the exciting Christmas Lights switch-on, situated at Cathedral Square, where there will be lots of family entertainment from 4pm until 7pm and the parade will take you straight to the action! The event will mark the beginning of the Christmas celebrations in Worcester with live music performances from local schools, choirs and appearances from the cast of the Swan Theatre’s Pantomime, Jack and The Beanstalk.

A fantastic window art trail will accompany the starlit event during November and December, with local business windows decorated by local artists. A hidden word game dotted around the city will also spread some festive joy over the extended Christmas period.

Stephanie Jones, Library Manager at The Hive, said “We’re delighted to partner with Worcester BID, Worcester City Council, and Catt Standen to help convene the Starlight Parade and Trail this year. We’re extremely excited to see the fantastic lanterns and to celebrate the Christmas Lights switch-on as part of Worcester’s local community.”

 

The Hive Library and city partners Worcester BID and Worcester City Council are thrilled to bring back lanterns to Worcester in the form of the sparkling-new Starlight Parade and Trail.

After the parade, the showstopper lanterns will be exhibited at The Hive from Monday 27th December 2023 until Tuesday 2nd January 2024 with free admission to all and open daily (8:30am-10pm). There will also be multiple ‘Meet the Artist’ events during December giving the public the opportunity to meet artist Catt Standen as she talks about the creation of the lanterns.

To stay up to date with everything about The Starlight Parade and Trail, please follow @thestarlightparade on Instagram.

Please visit The Hive’s website for more information and to book your lantern-making workshop: Lantern Decorating Workshops – The Hive (thehiveworcester.org)


The next steps for Worcester’s Scala arts venue are due to be discussed

Following the decision by the Members of Worcester City Council to halt the existing plans for the proposed renovation of the Grade II listed Corn Exchange and Scala in the city centre, independent consultant Candice Pearson has been appointed to engage local stakeholders to discuss next steps and encourage expressions of interest in the site.

 

Worcester City Council was awarded funding as part of the Government’s Future High Streets Fund to renovate these two historic buildings in Angel Street into a new 500-seat flexible theatre with complementary gallery space, as well as a café dining area.

 

Unfortunately, escalating costs meant that the original project could no longer be completed within budget and so the Council is seeking views from stakeholders whilst work continues.

 

The Joint Leaders of Worcester City Council, Councillors Lynn Denham and Marjory Bisset, said: “We would like to hear from local leaders and influencers across all sectors, and especially the arts, with ideas for how to best fulfil the ambition to restore and bring back into economic use these two remarkable buildings. If that sounds like you, please head to www.scalaworcester.co.uk to get involved.

 

“Our aim is to create a vibrant destination venue that will enrich Worcester’s cultural scene, helping to increase footfall and bring new private sector investment into the area, in turn creating employment opportunities for local people.”

 

Ms Pearson said: "Significant funding is available to restore these two locally iconic buildings, offering an unrivalled opportunity to enhance the city's cultural life, not to mention boost the local economy. I implore all dynamic teams and ambitious individuals with exciting ideas and viable business plans for how to make these buildings operational once again to join the conversation and perhaps make their dreams a reality."

 

As well as one-to-one meetings, interested parties and business prospects can share their views via an in-depth survey available at www.scalaworcester.co.uk, as well as attend one of three public consultation events.

 

Tours of the site can also be arranged, and stakeholders can express their interest by contacting Scala@cp-pr.org.

 

Under the original plans, Worcester Theatres were to operate the new Scala, while the Swan Theatre would have become a venue for community arts activities. The Swan Theatre will now continue to operate in its current guise under the management of Worcester Theatres and has already confirmed its regular schedule for the foreseeable future, including several performances from the city's many community theatre groups.


MEET THE ARTISTS

Worcester BID has been busy making over the city with artwork on electric boxes and signposts!

Want to know more about the artists? Visit their socials by pressing the link below.

PRESS HERE TO MEET THE ARTISTS


Innovative Solar Butterfly to Stop in Worcester as Part of World Tour

A butterfly-shaped trailer, powered entirely by the sun, will be making a stopover in Worcester this summer as part of a world tour promoting solutions to stop global warming.

The Solar Butterfly was developed by Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland and is the world’s largest fully functioning ‘tiny’ house powered by solar energy and pulled by an electrical vehicle. Its creators are driving around the world, across 90 countries over four years, powered only by solar energy in the hope of raising awareness of the climate crisis.

It will be travelling through the UK this summer, stopping off in Worcester on June 1st, before continuing on to Canada, USA, Mexico and Central America.

The Solar Butterfly will be on display in Cathedral Square in the City before spending the night at the University of Worcester to re-charge before continuing its tour.

During the day there will be a chance to see the 80-square-metre solar panel covered trailer, which powers the Tesla vehicle towing it, and take part in a climate quiz while also learning about solutions to stop global warming.

Members of the University’s and Worcester City Council’s Sustainability teams will also be on hand to talk about their work.

Katy Boom, Director of Sustainability at the University of Worcester, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Solar Butterfly World Sustainability Tour here in Worcester. This fascinating concept will help to keep the climate crisis at the front of people’s minds and help them to learn about the things we can all do to stop global warming.”

The Solar Butterfly began its adventure amid dramatic alpine vistas at the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland. The first phase of the project – which has been largely crowdfunded, along with support from corporate sponsors – will take it on a six-month, 22,000-kilometer (13,670-mile) trip across 32 countries in Europe.

Louis Palmer, the brains behind the Solar Butterfly, who, in 2007 became the first person to drive around the world in a solar-powered car, says the purpose of the trip is to highlight climate crisis solutions that already exist – and inspire others to take action.

“The message is that it’s possible to save the planet,” he said.

Find out more about the Solar Butterfly project at www.solarbutterfly.org


Summer bunting is on its way in Worcester! 

Towards the end of April, colourful bunting will be installed across the city on the High Street, Pump St, Mealcheapen St, St Swithins St and Broad St!

Join in the fun and decorate your shop windows in the most colourful way you can! Sign ups for the Worcester BID summer window art are still open for all BID businesses until tomorrow at 4PM.

This is a joint installation bought to the city by Worcester BID and Worcester City Council.