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.”