Funding Updates - Businesses

Support Finder Tool
A new 'support finder' tool has been launched to help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to find out what financial support is available to them during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
BCRS Business Loans have announced they have become a delivery partner for the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. BCRS have a track record of lending to businesses that are unable to access finance from traditional lenders. They can offer loans from £10,000 to £150,000 with terms up to six years. Under CBILS, interest and lender-levied fees will be paid by the Government for the first 12 months. For further information, visit the website.

Innovation Grants
The UK Government has announced a £1.25 billion government support package to support high growth firms and those focussing on research and development.

The Future Fund will issue convertible loans to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. The scheme will be delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank and will launch in May 2020.

Have your views heard: Worcester Market Review

The Assembly Line has been appointed by Worcester City Council to undertake a review of the way the city’s markets are operating. With a number of changes to the market schedules in the past few years, some decline in footfall and the markets’ contract renewal taking place at the end of 2020, the review is looking to ensure that future market arrangements meet the needs of the city for years to come.

Worcester BID supports the review and is seeking the views of BID members to understand what is working well with Worcester's markets, any need for change and if businesses think the current markets add to the city centre's appeal. To share your views, click on the the link to complete a short survey online. It will only take  a few minutes and works across mobile phones and all other devices.

Take the survey

If you would prefer to have a conversation about the markets, you can contact Diane or Ben to arrange it. Ben and Diane will also be in Worcester speaking to shoppers, businesses and market traders over the next few weeks.

The closing date is Friday 6th March 2020. 
Only by hearing what local businesses and residents think can we understand if changes are needed, so we appreciate your input.

Worcester Business School Careers Fair - Thursday 26th March


We are delighted to invite you to our upcoming Business Careers Fair. The fair is a great opportunity to meet some of our best students, raise awareness of your brand and showcase your graduate schemes, or 12-month work placement, 3-6 month internship, or casual work and other opportunities.

The event will run between 11.30am and 3pm at our award-winning University Arena in Worcester. As always, stands are free, and available for businesses with roles for graduates, as well as placements and internships and casual work opportunities. 

You will be provided with a table, chairs and complimentary refreshments throughout the event and lunch. Please do let us know of any dietary requirements when you book. 

Tap into a new pool of talent and meet our highly employable students with a wide variety of skills and from a range of different courses including Business Management, Computing, Accounting, HR and Marketing, as well as International Business and Entrepreneurship, many whom have gained additional work experience via work placements and internships, as well as volunteering and community projects in the local area.


Letter for Businesses and Local Residents

Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre 2019 – Useful information from the City Council


·        Thursday 28 November, 12pm-9pm ·        Saturday 30 November, 10am-8pm
·        Friday 29 November, 11am-9pm ·        Sunday 1 December, 11am-5pm

This newsletter is for local residents and businesses to update you on plans for the 2019 Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre. We appreciate your patience during the build-up and staging of the event, and would like to provide information on the local traffic and access arrangements that will be in place.

Your needs are considered at every stage of the planning for the event but we understand there will necessarily be an impact on a number of people affected by the road closures and additional visitors to the city. The entire event team will work to keep any disruptions to a minimum and appreciate your support at this time. Our contact details are at the end of this letter if you have any queries not covered.

The Fayre Area

Stalls will be located in New Street, Friar Street, Pump Street, High Street, the Cornmarket and Cathedral Square. Stalls are selected and managed by our market operator LSD Promotions who have promised Victorian dress, local producers and Fayre favourites with quality products.

As in previous years, we would encourage businesses across the city to get involved with the Fayre as much as possible. You are able to sell goods outside of your premises as long as they are the same as the goods for sale inside your shop (though, as always, please be confident that you trade within your agreed licenses and have the necessary insurance and documentation). Worcestershire Regulatory Services have provided more information on licensing guidance. Please note that the last day for submitting a TEN application for alcohol sales is 13th November 2019.


A full programme of entertainment has been planned for the weekend, with a number of traditional Victorian entertainers lined up to amuse the crowd and plenty of Christmas music as carol singers fill the streets. Programmes will be distributed in the week before the event, please take a copy to see details and timings of entertainment or visit our website:

Stages will be located in Cathedral Square, Bell Square and at the Cardinals Hat, with additional activities taking place on New Street, the Shambles, The Hopmarket and around the city centre.

Access during the event

The Victorian Christmas Fayre takes place in Worcester city centre and access to this area will be restricted through the opening hours of the event and during stallholder set up and breakdown.

We recommend that deliveries are re-scheduled to times outside of the Fayre where possible. Vehicles will not be allowed access once the road closures are in place so deliveries during this time will need to be brought in by foot.

Please be aware that Cornmarket Car Park will be closed from the afternoon of Wednesday 27 November until the morning of Monday 2 December. Signage will be in place, but businesses are advised to recommend alternate parking to customers where possible. A full list of car parks can be found at

Businesses and residents who normally have access to private off road parking spaces which are inaccessible during the event may be eligible for a FREE parking permit at St Martin’s Gate car park to cover the period of the event. For more information, please contact the team on 01905 722501 or email


Road Closures

Full details of the times and locations for the road closures and traffic restrictions are as follows:


Road Closures 2019 Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
27th November 28th November 29th November 30th November 1st December
Angel Place 09:00 - 23:00 09:00 - 23:00 09:00 - 22:00 09:00 - 20:00
Broad Street 09:00 - 23:00 08:00 – 22:00 07:00 - 21:00 08:00 - 23:00
Carden Street Bay suspension only
Cathedral Square Wednesday 27th November 18:00 to Sunday 1st December 23:00
Charles Street 04:00 - 23:00 08:00 – 22:00 07:00 - 21:00 08:00 - 23:00
Copenhagen Street (High Street to Deansway)  

18:00 to 21:00


07:00 - 23:00


08:00 – 22:00


07:00 - 21:00


08:00 - 23:00

Cornmarket 04:00 - 23:00 08:00 – 22:00 07:00 - 21:00 08:00 - 23:00
Friar Street 04:00 - 23:00 08:00 – 22:00 07:00 - 21:00 08:00 - 23:00
High Street (Pump Street to

Elgar Statue)


04:00 - 23:00


08:00 – 22:00


07:00 - 21:00


08:00 - 23:00

High Street (Pump Street to The Cross)  

07:00 - 23:00


08:00 – 22:00


07:00 - 21:00


08:00 - 23:00

Mealcheapen Street 04:00 - 23:00 08:00 – 22:00 07:00 - 21:00 08:00 - 23:00
New Street 04:00 - 23:00 08:00 – 22:00 07:00 - 21:00 08:00 - 23:00
Pump Street (Charles Street to The Shambles)  

04:00 - 23:00


08:00 – 22:00


07:00 - 21:00


08:00 - 23:00

Pump Street (The Shambles to High Street)  

09:00 - 23:00


08:00 – 22:00


07:00 - 21:00


08:00 - 23:00

Queen Street (St Nicholas St - The Trinity)  

Wednesday 27th November 18:00 to Sunday 1st December 23:00

The Shambles 07:00 - 23:00 08:00 – 22.00 07:00 - 21:00 08:00 - 23:00
The Trinity & Queen Street Thursday 28th November 04:00 to Sunday 1st December 23:00
Union Street 04:00 - 23:00 08:00 – 22.00 07:00 - 21:00 08:00 - 23:00


Dedicated stewards will work with West Mercia Police to try and help anyone with legitimate access needs in the areas covered by road closures.

To try to minimise the impact on traffic, a Park and Ride service will be in operation from County Hall on Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December. All visitors will be encouraged to use these where possible. In addition, Fayre stallholders have been offered car parking outside of the city  centre to alleviate the impact on local residents and visitors.

Community Carol Service and Opening Ceremony

We would like to invite you to attend the Community Carol service taking place at Worcester Cathedral from 4.45pm to 5.15pm on Thursday 28 November. This will be followed by a procession to the Victorian carousel in the Cornmarket.

Thank you from us

Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre benefits the whole county of Worcestershire in a variety of ways and contributes an additional boost to the economy of more than £7.3 million a year. However, we are aware that not everyone enjoys or gets a direct benefit from the event and we could not run this event without the support and understanding of locals who we know can be inconvenienced.

If you would like to speak to somebody before the event or during the trading hours of the Fayre, please contact the Fayre team on 01905 722501 or email

We hope that you will join us at the Fayre and enjoy the event!

Worcester BID enjoys its most successful ever ballot

Worcester Business Improvement District (BID) enjoyed a landslide ballot this week, with more than 84.9% of city businesses voting in favour of another five-year BID term. 

This is the most successful ballot in the BID’s ten-year history, with 51% turnout and a record 84.9% of businesses backing their continued tenure.

The results, released today by Civica Election Services who conducted the independent ballot on behalf of Worcester City Council, show that 332 businesses cast their vote. 282 businesses voted positively, with a combined rateable value of over £17million. 

Worcester BID will manage more than £2 million worth of investment over the next five years, building on their success of the last decade which has seen Worcester’s high street footfall grow when other cities have seen significant decline. 

Phoebe Dawson, BID CEO, said: “We are beyond delighted with the results of this year’s ballot, which have exceeded expectations and are better than any ballot in the BID’s history.

“The city boasts enviable high street footfall numbers, and new initiatives such as evening food festivals and the pop-up park have been a great boon for the city. We are looking forward to continuing this great work, as well as expanding and improving Worcester’s commercial offering.

“Worcester BID’s success can be attributed to the collaborative approach that partners and stakeholders have taken over the last few years. Thanks to our shared ambition and effective cooperation, the future for the Faithful City looks very bright indeed.”

Nicki Williams, Chair of the BID Board and Deputy CEO of Heart of Worcestershire College, said: “Worcester BID is taking the lead in tackling issues facing the city. Businesses have seen a return on their investment over the last five years and have voted accordingly.

“It’s an exciting time for the city with huge investment planned over the next couple of years. The city centre community is passionate about Worcester and there’s a great feeling of confidence in the future.”

Worcester BID3 will operate from 1st April 2020 for five years.  Their work is funded by the levy paid annually by businesses in the BID area and since its formation, BID has provided extensive cost saving and town safety initiatives.

BID’s mandate includes making improvements to the public realm, marketing and events, and other support for businesses. BID provides businesses with a powerful voice, lobbying on key issues from business rates to the town’s car parking strategy. 

Worcester BID is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and its volunteer directors will continue to be drawn from the businesses in the BID area. 

Current BID initiatives include Visit Worcester, Safer City, Training courses, Cost Savings and Worcester Cares. 

Business Update: Changes to A-Board Policy

In light of the recent introduction of a new countywide Interim Policy for the Management of A-Boards by Worcestershire County Council, we would like to provide you with a useful update to help you adhere to the new A-Board policy.

There are a few small changes that may affect your displays:

  • A-Boards must be no more than 1m high and 0.75m wide (previously 1m wide). *
  • A-Boards that do not meet the conditions may be removed, without notice, under powers granted by the Highways Act 1980.
  • The interim policy is enforced by Worcestershire County Council Officers.

As before, a business may only display one A-Board on the public footway, provided it meets the requirements outlined in the policy. An A-Board per entrance would be allowable where there are clearly distinct entrances at different points. The A-Board must be placed within the frontage of the business, immediately adjacent to (i.e. touching) the front boundary of the business.

Click here to view the full  Interim Policy for the Management of A-Boards (2019).

Changes have been made by Worcestershire County Council in light of the Local Transport Plan (LTP4) to align countywide policies. They ensure the city is safe, attractive, easy to navigate and does not contain any unnecessary trip hazards for customers and visitors, in particular the visually impaired, wheelchair users, the less mobile and those with prams, buggies or mobility scooters.

To avoid removal, please ensure to check your business’ A-Board complies with these revised rules.


* Previous dimensions were 1m x 1m, which Worcestershire County Council research and discussions with equalities and highways officers showed was too big. In fact, this was far larger than any other authority in England allows, and almost twice as large as the average. Therefore, the reduced allowable size has been set at 1m high x 0.75m wide – still larger than almost all other authorities. Discussions with City Council have shown that this may mean many A-Boards in Worcester are a few centimetres too wide. It would not be expected that these would be enforced against, under the principle of using enforcement 'proportionate and appropriate to the individual circumstances' (unless of course they broke any of the other rules).

Ask for Angela

Do you and your staff know of the Ask for Angela campaign?

It is the idea that customers can 'Ask for Angela' as a discreet codeword for when they feel unsafe or threatened.

The staff member will then take appropriate action to ensure the customers safety. For instance, these actions could be escorting the customer safely out of the premises or calling a taxi.

While Freshers week the students making their return is fantastic for the city, there is a higher risk of someone becoming vulnerable in your venue. Whether you’re a nightclub, bar, retailer, hotel or an office, you never know when someone might need your help!

Please inform all staff members of this campaign, and feel free to request a poster to put in your venue to help spread the word and inform your customers they have your support. 

If you have any queries or would like further information and guidance, please don't hesitate to get in contact.

Download the poster

Download the guidance

The Kiln: New Co-working Space in Worcester City

The Kiln, a collaborative community to help entrepreneurs and lone workers, is a friendly and imaginative space to work and provides hot-desking for over 60 people. It has undergone extensive building and renovation work, creating a modern, fresh and practical space for professionals to use as their base, share ideas and network with like-minded people.

Click here to view the whole article.

CityNet event welcomes DISC training and more!

This month saw the inaugural CityNet event for both the day and night-time economies and it was fantastic to see it so well received amongst CityNet members and partners. The meeting covered a variety of hot topics, including a demonstration on DISC, free training courses and workshops and an update on the work we are doing on licensed premises.

DISC is CityNet’s new website and mobile app and the event welcomed Charlie Newman, the app developer, who gave a demonstration on how to use the software and how it can be used to benefit our members. It’s our members one-stop shop for reporting incidents of crime to the scheme, browsing prolific offenders, receiving news and alerts, instant messaging each other and submitting public realm reports. DISC also allows members to report crime directly to the Crime Bureau. With reports ranging from theft, violence to begging and street drinking, this app lets users identify problem areas and authorities to combat these issues.

On top of this exciting app, we are now running weekly Safer Business workshops. The workshops are free for Worcester BID and CityNet members and will go through everything needed to help keep customers, staff and businesses safe. Topics covered will include managing conflict, radio operation, DISC, loss prevention and spotting the signs of suspicious behaviour. The training is perfect for any kind of business, whether you are a retailer, bar, restaurant, salon or office, the workshops will give you and your staff the confidence and tools to effectively handle potential situations.

As well as this, Worcester BID is working alongside the West Midlands Counter Terrorism unit to organise ACT Counter Terrorism training. This one-hour session is free for Worcester BID and CityNet members and comes with an online course which gives attendees a nationally recognised accreditation.

Worcester BID also organises free Customer Service and Social Media courses. The customer service courses cover a range of topics, including ‘Customers with Disabilities’ and ‘Principles of Customer Service’ whilst the social media courses can cater for basic and advanced abilities covering any social media platform out there!

As well as training courses, Worcester BID has been working alongside licensees to improve customer experience and safety through Best Bar None. This accreditation looks to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder by assessing licensed premises on their responsible management. The assessment period has now begun and, since the CityNet meeting, both Slug & Lettuce and Cote Brasserie have achieved accreditation! Several other businesses will now be looking to follow their lead over the next few weeks, and these venues successes will then be celebrated with a high-profile awards night towards the end of the year!

Thank you to everyone who attended the meeting, to Charlie Newman from DISC for the wonderful training on the system and to the Guildhall for providing such a beautiful venue. We hope that everyone who attended found the event both informative and useful and we will be looking forward to the next one!

If you would like more information on the topics discussed, please contact James Bell on 01905 731 612 or

Future High Streets Fund Application Progressing

We’re pleased that Worcester's Future High Streets Fund application, which sought the views of our BID businesses, is progressing to stage 2.

Worcester's application is amongst 50 additional towns and cities that have been selected to go through to the second round of the Future High Streets Fund

The city was shortlisted for a share of a £1billion government fund to transform high streets and shopping areas. The money could be used in various ways, such as converting empty shops into homes or offices, or improving transport links. As a successful FHS Fund candidate, Worcester's application team will now receive up to £150,000 to develop detailed project proposals that can be submitted for capital funding of up to £25million. The news follows the announcement earlier this year that the city was successful with another bid from the government's Cultural Development Fund, to turn Worcester's railway arches into a business and arts hub.

Read the full article here: