The Commandery, Worcester welcomes new café operator

The Commandery is very pleased to announce a new operator for its café. Alex Daw, of Little Al’s Kitchen, is set to open a brand-new café on site on Tuesday 2 July.

Alex is very used to opening cafés in historic buildings as he already operates the successful Balcony Café at Worcester’s Art Gallery & Museum. The café will be known as Little Al’s Kitchen at The Commandery.

Set in the heart of historic Worcester, The Commandery is one of the city’s key visitor attractions. Most famous for being the Royalist Headquarters during the Battle of Worcester in 1651 it has also been a monastic hospital, family home, a college for the blind, and housed the Littlebury Printworks before becoming today’s museum revealing significant stories of Worcester’s history. The café occupies an idyllic and peaceful setting in its own gardens, overlooking the canal and just a short walk from the city’s bustling High Street.

Museums Worcestershire’s Audiences Manager, Helen Large says: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Little Al’s Kitchen to The Commandery. The café is a key part of the visitor experience and Alex understands what makes a successful café both for visitors to the museum and for his regular customers. Everyone wants excellent customer service with a good cup of coffee, home-made cake or lunch in a beautiful setting!”

Alex’s commitment to operating in an environmentally friendly way has already seen his business win the Visit Worcestershire Sustainable Tourism award.
Alex Daw of Little Al’s Kitchen says: “We are so excited to be building on our current partnership with Museums Worcestershire by taking on the café at The Commandery. We’ll be serving homemade cakes and treats and our fantastic locally roasted own-blend coffee, and we’ll also be developing a whole new menu based around local suppliers to bring the best of Worcestershire to the heart of the city. We can’t wait to welcome familiar faces and new customers.”

For opening times and further information, please visit museumsworcestershire.org.uk.


Worcester Unveils Largest City Installation with Vibrant Displays

Worcester BID is thrilled to announce the completion of their largest city installation to date!

BID Team and Colour Palette creator Stacey Barnfield, pictured on Broad Street

Worcester is now ablaze with colour as the summer aerial displays have been installed throughout the city. The vibrant bunting, featuring the distinctive Worcester Colour Palette by Stacey Barnfield, celebrates the city’s rich heritage and has been prominently displayed across various locations.

The displays include giant palette board decorations, classic summer bunting, and giant mesh spheres suspended overhead. This exciting initiative by Worcester BID aims to create livelier and more engaging city streets, already enticing many to book long weekends in the city to enjoy the displays.

This year, Worcester BID has installed displays on 8 city centre streets, including The Shambles, The Hopmarket, Reindeer Court, Broad Street, New Street, Friar Street, Mealcheapen Street, and St. Swithin’s. The Worcester Colour Palette, inspired by Worcester’s landmarks and history, features colours such as Elgar Bronze, Saucy Orange, Hive Gold, Cathedral Stone, Diglis Deep Blue, and Pear Black, reflecting the city’s vibrancy and diversity.

Stacey Barnfield, designer of the Worcester Colour Palette, said: “It’s so wonderful to see how Worcester BID has creatively adopted the Colour Palette concept with the new displays and bunting. The colour palette is all about celebrating the local history, people and places that make our areas so special to us, and this latest installation by Worcester BID does it so well.”

Stacey Barnfield and BID CEO, Sam McCarthy on Pump Street

 

The Colour Palette was first used by The Arts Society Worcester in collaboration with WCRP, Worcester BID, and local partners through a project aiming to enhance Worcester’s first impression for visitors arriving by train at Foregate Street Station and additionally promoting local artistic talent. This project also supports wayfinding with maps positioned by stairwells, guiding visitors to explore the vibrant city.

Local businesses have enthusiastically supported the initiative, with Justin, Owner of Ware, commenting, “The installation of aerial displays in Reindeer Court is wonderful, tying the Court in with the city colour palette. Small businesses benefit enormously from increased footfall brought about by Worcester BID initiatives such as this—giving another reason to visit Reindeer Court!”

Other businesses, like Bottles Wine Bar and Merchants, have praised the displays on New Street and Friar Street, saying, “The displays have brought a new lease of life to New Street and Friar Street, a lovely representation of the community and creativity that Worcester shines with! Summer has arrived!”

Jennifer from ArrangeMYescape added, “What a fantastic and different way for our city to really stand out! It’s not only colourful but educational. A real celebration of what Worcestershire is all about.”

Bill Simpson, Trustee at The Hopmarket Charity said: “We are delighted to be part of Worcester BID’s initiative to bring colour and vibrancy into The Hopmarket; not only does it look fabulous it also brings the city’s history and heritage to life.  We hope it encourages more visitors to our courtyard space over the summer months.”

 

 

 

Looking ahead, Worcester BID will continue to enhance the cityscape with more projects, including revitalising areas like a patch of land on the junction between Lower Broad Street and Deansway, turning it into a haven for bugs and fauna, and further art enhancements to improve tagged areas of the city.

If you are a landlord or own an area in the city that needs some TLC, please contact us at info@worcesterbid.com.


The Euros are HERE! & Operation Hubble Downloads

The Euros start tonight!

It’s Coming to Worcester

With the excitement building for UEFA Euro 2024, Worcester’s city centre offers some great spots where fans can watch the matches and soak in the atmosphere with some great food and drink.

Venues to Watch Euro 2024 in Worcester

  1. Mode Sports Bar and Grill: Featuring LOTS of big screens and a spacious outdoor garden.
  2. O’Neill’s: Known for its lively atmosphere and HD screens, perfect for enjoying the Euros with food and drinks.
  3. Craft Inn: Offering a vast selection of craft beer, with online reservations providing drinks credit and free half-time food.
  4. The Horn and Trumpet: A traditional pub with live game screenings and food and drink specials.
  5. The Kings Head: Located on Sidbury, this venue offers courtyard screenings and a great pint of Guinness.

To ensure you don’t miss any of the action, check out our local pub guide tips below…

  • Arrive Early: Popular big-screen venues can fill up quickly, especially for England games. Booking where possible and arriving early ensures you get a good seat. Maybe go for food first!
  • Check Reservations: Most venues showing the games in the city accept table bookings, so it’s worth checking in advance to secure your spot!
  • Special Promotions: Support your local venues and look out for special promotions on food and drinks during match days.

We hope you enjoy the Euros in Worcester’s City Centre pubs! But to keep you safe whilst you do so, West Mercia Police has launched “Operation Hubble,” a proactive initiative designed to ensure public safety and manage crowds during the UEFA Euro 2024 tournament. As football fever grips the nation, Operation Hubble is working to ensure that everyone can enjoy the matches in a safe environment. You will see increased patrols in busy areas, collaboration with local venues hosting match viewings, and a zero-tolerance approach to alcohol-related incidents.

Businesses interested in showcasing Operation Hubble on their social media or premises can access a variety of downloadable resources from West Mercia Police below.

Press the image to open up a downloadable copy. 


Discover the Charm of Reindeer Court in Worcester

Nestled in the heart of Worcester, Reindeer Court is a hidden gem full of thriving independent and locally owned businesses. Whether you enter from New Street, Mealcheapen Street, or The Shambles, you’ll find yourself immersed in a community that prides itself on offering unique products and services, fostering a delightful shopping and dining experience.

A haven for locally run and family-owned businesses, Reindeer Court is home to an eclectic mix of shops you won’t want to miss, including:

  • Hugo and Ted: Offering a handmade selection of doggie goods that you won’t find elsewhere.
  • The Wildling Collective: Perfect for those seeking a family-friendly café and play space.
  • Ware: A must-visit for stylish and mid-century homeware.
  • Bottles Wine Shop: Ideal for wine enthusiasts looking to explore a wide range of quality wines.
  • Gem’s Traditional Thai Massage & Beauty Therapy: A sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation, offering authentic Thai massage and treatments.
  • Jaks Coffee Shop: A cosy spot to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee and a snack.
  • Paw & Co: Pet lovers will adore this shop and café which caters to the needs of their furry friends.
  • Plantamamita: For those with a green thumb, this store offers a variety of plants and gifts.
  • Fuel Clothing: A fashion haven offering curated stylish apparel for women.
  • Embrace Boutique: A boutique offering a specialist service to women affected by cancer, those undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and women experiencing hair loss.
  • Elgars Coffee Shop: An excellent spot for a relaxing coffee break with a warm, inviting atmosphere.
  • Hangar CAFE: Known for its delicious food, cakes and courtyard seating.
  • David Jon Hairdressing: Professional hairdressing services to keep you looking your best.
  • Ian Quartermaine Jewellers: A reputable jeweller offering exquisite pieces and expert craftsmanship.
  • Reindeer Court Dental: Providing comprehensive dental care in a friendly setting, opening soon!
  • Natural Definition: Specialising in beauty treatments and beauty services.
  • SJ Footcare: Providing professional foot care services.
  • Dragons Barbershop: Traditional barber services with a modern twist.
  • Starseed Kitchen: A unique dining experience with a focus on fresh, all-vegan ingredients.
  • About You: A gorgeous beauty and aesthetics venue.
  • Fox and Fortune Tattoo: A professional tattoo studio known for its artistry and attention to detail.
  • Fashion Nails & Spa: Offering top-notch nail and spa services.

Next time you’re in Worcester, make sure to wander through Reindeer Court. Whether you’re looking for a special gift, a relaxing beauty treatment, or simply a great cup of coffee, you’ll find it all here.
Don’t forget to share your finds and experiences using the hashtag #reindeercourt!


The latest news: Exciting Summer Events Coming to Worcester!

Worcester is set for a vibrant and exciting summer with a multitude of fantastic events!

Worcester BID is thrilled to partner with the Waddle of Worcester as the Community and Education Partner. This unique event will bring creatively designed penguin sculptures to the city and aims to foster local pride and community engagement, enhancing the vibrancy of Worcester while boosting footfall, dwell time, and spending in the city. As part of the initiative, Worcester BID will place baby penguin sculptures in business windows, integrating the trail with the business community and highlighting its commitment to educational and cultural initiatives. This effort will also support vital fundraising for St. Richard’s Hospice.

Additionally, Worcester BID is organising a summer window art trail across 50 city centre business windows, themed on the penguin trail. This will bring extra vibrancy to the city, support local businesses, and paint the town penguin!

Another highlight of the summer is the return of the historic Three Choirs Festival from July 27 to August 3. Known as one of the world’s oldest classical choral music festivals, this year’s event will explore the theme of the natural world, celebrating compositions inspired by Earth’s landscapes and seascapes. With performances from renowned musicians and choirs, as well as premieres of contemporary works, the festival is a cultural gem for Worcester, enriching the city’s artistic scene and boosting local tourism.

In an exciting collaboration, Worcester BID and the Three Choirs Festival will be introducing a music trail this summer. This interactive experience allows participants to explore the works of historic and contemporary composers featured at the festival by scanning QR codes on shields displayed in business windows. Participants can listen to music instantly or access detailed information about the artists and the full trail through a comprehensive Linktree. With 15 boards to discover, including three special gold ones, this trail brings the festival further into the city, promoting footfall and adding a unique dimension to Worcester’s cultural festivities.

This summer, Worcester promises a season filled with creativity! Stay tuned for more details in this special edition of Worcester Sounds.


Worcester News Article: Independents make us tick

Worcester’s independents are the heartbeat of our city and should be celebrated! With a whopping 67% of businesses flying the independent flag, it’s no wonder we’re making waves. Recently, The Telegraph even ranked us as the ninth-best city in the UK, and it’s not hard to see why.

The city’s ranking was determined by various factors, including its rich culture and heritage, where Worcester proudly secured fourth place. This cultural tapestry is woven by the multitude of independent businesses that line its streets, offering everything from artisanal crafts to culinary delights. We’ve got a bit of everything here and our independent businesses play a big part in that. They bring a unique offering to our streets, whether you’re after a quirky gift or a cosy café to unwind in.

But beyond their offerings, independent businesses play a crucial role in supporting our community. When you choose to shop locally, you’re not just making a transaction; you’re investing in the prosperity of our city. Many of our indie heroes are deeply committed to giving back, whether through fundraisers or collaborations with other local businesses to support community initiatives.

We caught up with a few of our Worcester BID member indie retailers to hear what they love about doing business in Worcester and why they chose the city to trade in.

Anja Potze, proprietor of Anja Potze Fine Jewellery nestled on the historic Tudor Street of Friar Street, extolled Worcester’s virtues, stating, ‘With its vibrant history, fantastic transport, and infrastructure, Worcester is a fantastic location for my business to thrive.’ Anja has recently celebrated 30 years of business and we look forward to 30 more on Friar Street!

And then there’s the talented team at Trio, which offers high-quality beauty treatments, from manicures to dermaplaning also situated on Friar Street, who emphasised the significance of community: “It was an easy choice for us to have this beautiful, historic city by the river as TRIO’s home. The community feel is one of the many reasons to visit and reside in Worcester, we wouldn’t be anywhere else!”

Julie Reilly, Owner of Perfections Bridal Studio echoed these sentiments, describing “Worcester is a beautiful location full of history, character, and a thriving business community”. Adding, “it’s a privilege to be located on Friar Street”.

So, here’s to Worcester’s independents who make our city a little more unique every day. Let’s remember to support these local businesses that make Worcester the unique and thriving place that it is. By choosing to shop local, we can all play a part in keeping our high street ticking for generations to come.


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 a young age 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 Nicolls / Skim II

🎵 You are now listening to Sarah Nicolls, Skim II

Sarah Nicolls 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 Nicolls, 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 / Mass For The Endangered

🎵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, 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.


The city is Purple: What does Purple Flag mean for Worcester

While Worcester may be clad in blue for its historic football team, its nighttime economy is undeniably purple. For the past two years, Worcester has proudly achieved the Purple Flag accreditation, with plans underway to secure a third consecutive year.

Presented by the Association of Town & City Management (ATCM), the Purple Flag is a prestigious international recognition that celebrates cities’ efforts in enriching their urban centres during evening hours. It’s not just a badge of honour; it’s a testament to Worcester’s commitment to creating vibrant and safe nighttime spaces that draw visitors, boost spending, and ease crime.

The success of this initiative in the city owes much to the collaborative efforts of Worcester BID, West Mercia Police, Worcester City Council, Worcester Street Pastors, and Worcestershire Regulatory Services. Recently, Worcester BID members, in conjunction with city partners, undertook a thorough evaluation of the nighttime economy’s amenities, ambience, and safety measures. From 5 PM to 5 AM, they scoured every corner of the city, identifying areas for enhancement and gauging the public’s perception of safety.

This proactive approach not only goes towards the lengthy application that allows Worcester to maintain its Purple Flag status but also fosters ongoing improvement and growth. Moreover, Purple Flag accreditation has been shown to attract more visitors, increase spending, and even stimulate investment in the city, making it an attractive destination for residents and newcomer businesses alike.

Crucially, the Purple Flag accreditation is more than just a symbolic gesture—it’s a catalyst for tangible change that takes place through findings from pre-assessments as well as the collaborative efforts and heightened awareness it brings. Worcester is not only curbing crime but also nurturing inclusive and secure spaces for all residents and visitors.

Worcester is now gearing up to renew its Purple Flag accreditation this summer. With each passing year, the city’s purple glow shines ever brighter, with the evolution of projects such as Safe Space, we are signalling an unwavering commitment to fostering a dynamic and safe nighttime environment for all.


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.


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!


Worcester's 2023 Foot Traffic Soars Despite Regional Downturn

A recent release of an annual report by Place Informatics has cast a spotlight on the foot traffic trends across 12 UK regions in 2023. This comprehensive report analyses the yearly, quarterly, and monthly fluctuations in footfall, providing a comparative assessment against the previous year’s data.

Examining the year-on-year percentage change by region, the South-West and Wales emerge as the front-runners, experiencing the highest percentage increase at 4.57% and 4.45%, respectively. In contrast, London faces a notable decline with a -1.43% decrease, closely followed by the West Midlands at -1.38%. Despite Worcester’s geographic tie to the West Midlands, recent data challenges the notion of a decline in our city’s footfall.

Contrary to regional statistics, Worcester has exhibited remarkable growth. The 2023 footfall has surged by an average of 21,180 per month, translating to a substantial addition of 254,164 extra pedestrians on our streets in 2023.

What’s driving Worcester’s impressive foot traffic surge for 2023? The city has reaped the benefits of collaborative efforts, evident in the success of the Victorian Christmas market orchestrated by Worcester City Council and innovative events like the Starlight Lantern Parade, a collaborative project involving The Hive, Council, Worcester BID, and government funding support. Worcester BID’s strategic promotion of the city’s rich heritage through a Sky TV advert targeted at specific demographics has also played a pivotal role. Local businesses have actively contributed to this upswing with so many fantastic venues achieving awards, such as Maneki Ramen’s win of Japanese Restaurant of the Year 2023.

Venues have also worked hard to create a safer and more welcoming city offering for all via increased training. Worcester BID’s commitment to community development is evident in the 1205 delegates from businesses within its district attending free and heavily subsidised training courses, fostering confidence and skill development. The introduction of the BID Safer Streets Officer and Safe Space has further bolstered nighttime operations, providing crucial support in areas such as first aid and mental health.

Enhancements in lighting infrastructure and seasonal displays in aerial spaces have gained national attention, attracting more tourism and increased foot traffic on Worcester’s streets. Additionally, our arts and culture scene is booming, with the addition of the art spaces in the Arches and extended opening and popular late-night openings at our Museums!

As we look ahead, Worcester is poised for continued positive momentum, especially as the Official Education and Community Partner of the St Richards Hospice City Art Trail, The Waddle of Worcester, ensuring mass footfall into the city during summer.

Stay tuned by reading the Worcester BID column every Friday for the latest updates.


Bringing you the all new Taste Worcester and City Staff Card!

Be part of Taste Worcester!

NEW TO WORCESTER, OCTOBER 2023

Sign Me Up!

What is Taste Worcester?

Taste Worcester is a month-long celebration of food bought to you by Worcester BID and Visit Worcestershire. Registered venues across the city centre will be putting on £5, £10 and £15 menu items, as well as special menus during this period. To put that in perspective, your £5 item could be a starter or a pudding and your £15 item, a main. You can offer just one of these, or all 3! You could also offer a special menu made up of items available for Taste of Worcester! It is up to you.

Customers will be able to stamp a card each time they participate by eating at a venue during this time. A full stamp card will enter them into a prize draw for a city centre hamper!

When will it be?

October 1ST-31ST 2023

What are the perks?

Participating in the Taste of Worcester will link you to the event page as a partnering business of the event. You will also be promoted in PR and marketing in the lead up to the event and during the
event by Worcester BID and Visit Worcestershire. New people will likely try your venue and return after the event! It is a great way to grow your awareness.

T&Cs:
Participating venues must provide their chosen menu items for the entirety of October. Venues will be required to stamp visitors cards that purchase from your Taste of Worcester menu to allow prize draw entries.

How do I sign up?

Fill out the attached form via a desktop/laptop, save your filled out form and press the email button to email it back to us or send it via info@worcesterbid.com! Please ensure you attach the form to the email.

Sign Me Up!

What else can I get involved in as a foodie venue?

Be part of the City Staff Card and increase your footfall during the week!

Sign Me Up to be a City Staff Card Venue

What is City Staff Card?

The Taste of Worcester City Staff Card will be launched this summer and will run all year round. The aim of the card is to increase the number of people dining out in our city at lunchtime.

This card will entitle staff of city centre businesses to a 10% discount on the total food bill in participating venues, MONDAY-THURSDAY.

If you would like to be part, let us know and we will add you to the database ready for launch!

Why become a participating venue?

Improve your lunchtime uptake by offering a discount to people who are already in the city every day of the week for work! Increase your business’s awareness and contacts with the local business community. Your venue will be displayed on a list of participating venues that will link to your business website.

T&Cs:

All registered businesses must offer the blanket discount of 10% off all food, when shown the city staff card, on the total bill whilst registered as a Taste of Worcester, City Staff Card participating venue.

How do I sign up?

Fill out the attached form via a desktop/laptop, save your filled out form and press the email button to email it back to us or send it via info@worcesterbid.com.

Please ensure you attach the form to the email.

Sign Me Up to be a City Staff Card Venue


Worcester’s Close the Door campaign helps businesses stay Open4Business

Worcester is staying Open4Business by closing its doors: a new Close the Door campaign is in full force. The joint initiative from Worcester BID, supported by Worcester City Council, is set to save businesses money and reduce the city’s contribution to CO2 emissions, simply by shops closing their doors whilst trading during winter periods.

At a time when energy bills are at an all-time high, Worcester BID is helping businesses with simple energy-saving techniques that are being promoted to customers and shoppers through simple initiatives such as informative window and door stickers. These stickers are being distributed to businesses across the city centre and are designed to prompt customers to close doors behind them.

 

Plantamamita, Reindeer Court, Worcester
Ware, Reindeer Court, Worcester
TripelB, Copenhagen Street, Worcester

 

Sam McCarthy, CEO of Worcester Business Improvement District (BID) said, “Businesses within the city are open for business and to support with the increasing energy bills, they will be keeping their doors closed this winter period. We encourage shoppers not to be put off by the closed doors and to understand that this supports the businesses to remain trading by reducing additional costs.”

Whilst this is a simple technique to keeping the heat in and reducing energy usage, research from Cambridge University found that shops that keep doors open consume twice as much electricity as businesses which do not. Businesses that close their doors save up to 10 tonnes of CO2 and can cut their annual energy bills by up to half. This is the equivalent of driving 25,000 miles – the distance from Worcester to our twin city of Le Vesinet, France, and back, nearly 30 times!

Close The Door Window Sticker displayed in local business, The Kiln.

 

This simple Close the Door initiative will help businesses save money on their energy bills and reduce the city’s consumption of energy, leading to lower CO2 emissions.

Worcester City Council’s Councillor Louis Stephen suggested the scheme and said, “The cost-of-living crisis, caused by high energy bills, is affecting local businesses just as much as Worcester residents. The open for business initiative is a great way for customers to support local shops by understanding why business doors are closed during the cold winter months.”

Help support your high street this winter by closing the doors of businesses displaying the sticker.

If you would like a window sticker for your business. Please contact Worcester BID via info@worcesterbid.com

 


NEW - City Council Grants for Business Improvements

Worcester City Council has just introduced a new grant for retail properties. The grants are funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and are part of Worcester City Council’s allocation of £2.96m.

 

If you have a retail unit, you could be given financial support towards making improvements to internal appearance, frontages, and accessibility of empty and occupied retail units across Worcester.  

 

Businesses/organisations can apply for a maximum of £12,000 towards costs of occupying a previously empty retail unit or £6,000 for improvements to internal appearance, frontages, and/or the accessibility of occupied units. Eligible expenditure can include building works, premises refurbishment, fixtures and fittings, signage, installation of ramps and other associated costs to either bring the empty unit back into use or improve the internal appearance, frontage, or accessibility of occupied units. 

 

Businesses/organisations must be able to make a ‘cash’ match funding contribution of at least 50% towards the cost of the proposed project/investment.

 

Applications are encouraged to be submitted as soon as possible. 

 

Please note that you may be contacted regarding your application and changes.

 

Please contact the Economic Development team on either 01905 722106 or email economy@worcester.gov.uk for more information.


There’s still time to get your entries in for this year’s Worcester Show

Whether you’re a great gardener, a brilliant baker or a creative crafter – there’s still time to showcase your talents at this year’s Worcester Show.

With 140 competition classes, there’s something to suit entrants of all ages – and even the family dog can join in the fun. But don’t leave it too late - entries close on August 8! All entries need to be submitted online at worcestershow.org.uk. Those without internet access can visit the Tourist Information Office for a paper copy.

Classes range from floral displays, fruit and vegetables, jams, cakes, art, photography and handicrafts – and you don’t need to be an expert – novice classes are available, plus classes just for children. Entries for the dog show can be made on the day. All judging will take place on Saturday 13 August, excluding Cacti & Succulents which will be judged on Sunday 14 August.

This year’s Worcester Show will be held on Sunday August 14 in the spacious surroundings of Pitchcroft Racecourse, and it promises to be a great day out for all the family.

Children can enjoy a whole host of activities from bouncy castles and a traditional merry-go-round and the ever-popular bungee rides. Free activities include face-painting with Doorstep Princesses, crafting with Arts & Wonder & Wotahoot and the brilliant Music bus from Severn Arts. A sports zone will offer taster sessions of a variety of different sports and an array of market stalls and independent stalls will offer bargains and gifts galore.

To add to the festival atmosphere, there will be musical entertainment throughout the day spread across two stages, with bands taking to the Tom Jones main stage and other acts appearing on the community stage. For the first time the show will also feature an Asian Mela Marquee showcasing food, art, music, dance and craft from across South Asia. This will include cooking demonstrations and henna and creative craft activities for all the family to enjoy.

The show is delivered by Worcester City Council, supported by the Friends of Worcester Show, and for 2022, in partnership with Worcester BID and Chin Badger Media.

Mayor of Worcester, Cllr Adrian Gregson said: “Worcester Show is always a fantastic day out for all the family and I’m very much looking forward to the event – there is so much to see and do. It’s also a great opportunity to show off your talents, whether they be cookery, gardening or art; it’s well worth entering one – or many - of the competition classes.”

 

Entries for the show are open until August 8. To enter a class or to find out more about the event, go to www.worcestershow.org.uk

 


Robin Walker explores the fantastic, varied and independent business offerings in Reindeer Court

Our fantastic, varied and independent business district, Reindeer Court, was visited today by local MP, Robin Walker, who toured the exciting and developing business offerings within the area. Reindeer Court is a must visit in any trip to Worcester. Take a walk through the arcade entrance, accessed from the Shambles, New Street or Mealcheapen Street to discover a hub of independents. Check out mid-century glass wear, earthenware and more at Ware, or discover a new favourite tipple at Bottles Wine Shop, or are plants more your thing? Make it Plantamamita and turn your house into a little Garden of Eden.  Reindeer Court is also home to delicious donuts at Izzy's Ices and Donuts and you can even step into doggy heaven in the new Hugo and Ted, offering gorgeous dog items and matching human pieces for all those summer walks.

Justin Schiffmann, owner of Ware, said that "it was a pleasure to welcome Robin Walker to Ware and Reindeer Court -after an ‘eventful’ week.  He was delighted to see so many new and unique businesses  choosing Worcester and Reindeer Court as the home for their new businesses.  He took the time to meet several owners and learn a bit about their journey to business owning."

Robin Walker visits Ware
Robin Walker visits Plantamamita
Robin Walker with Justin, Owner of Ware

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We very much agree with Justin that  “the future of Reindeer Court is brighter than it has been for a long time and now is an excellent time to add it to your shopping trip to the city.”