Worcester Leads the Charge Against Retail Theft

The recent release of the 2023 Retail Crime Survey by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has illuminated a national picture of a concerning surge in violence against staff and retail theft. The BRC are urging government intervention to safeguard retail workers, underscoring the pressing need for nationwide investment in deterrents, coupled with comprehensive training and support networks. Aligning with these findings, Policing Minister Chris Philp has initiated a national action plan to combat shoplifting, urging retailers to swiftly provide CCTV footage and shoplifters’ images for identification through facial recognition technology. The introduction of the Pegasus police program further seeks to gather intelligence on organised crime gangs involved in shoplifting, aiming to enhance collaboration between retailers and law enforcement.

Remarkably, Worcester has been ahead of the curve, already implementing very similar strategies for some time. The city’s resilience against the rising trend of retail theft is evident. Worcester BID is taking action to help local businesses reduce theft by providing comprehensive training courses, increasing the use of the 24/7 CCTV-connected CityNet radio system, and using GDPR-compliant DISC information sharing systems, working to strengthen the understanding and adoption of effective theft reduction schemes. Tailored Safer City meetings have evolved into essential platforms for businesses to unite against the shared challenge of retail theft, receiving insights directly from crucial partners like West Mercia Police, providing a helpful support network.

Worcester’s success in combatting retail theft is backed by tangible statistics. From June 20th, 2023, to January 19th, 2024, Worcester BID’s Safer Streets Officer reported 57 instances of asset and monetary recovery and 87 cases of deterrence within the business district. This dedicated officer actively addresses anti-social behaviour, particularly in hot-spot areas, and supports staff in reporting crimes, contributing to a substantial recovery of £12,755.15 in just seven months.

Through collaborative efforts and heightened awareness, Worcester’s partners have effectively intensified the targeting of retail theft, working towards safer streets for everyone. It is great to see that there is a national push to reduce retail theft, and even better to see that Worcester’s endeavours have already yielded success in combatting retail theft. The city is committed to further cultivating partnerships and providing ongoing efforts that support businesses to flourish.

 


Contemplating the Evolution of Worcester's Balanced High Street & its Future

Public spaces, important in any city, serve as channels for social interaction and community cohesion. Yet, urban expert Matthew Davis of the Institute of Place Management, issues a warning—public spaces, from sports centres to parks and libraries, face an impending crisis of closure and underfunding. In a recent article titled ‘Pay to stay: an inflection point for accessible towns and cities’, Davis underscores the dwindling support for UK public spaces, advocating for a renewed emphasis on investing in free-to-stay areas that can address community need.

So, is Worcester too at a pivotal juncture where economic prosperity converges with social responsibility? The delicate task of maintaining accessibility for the city centre — the very heart of our community — as a member of the Worcester Business Improvement District, provides some conflict between our aim to foster business growth and Davis’s imperative to preserve public spaces. Davis contends that community input should underpin our urban environment, urging a balanced approach that marries commercial development with investments in public spaces, forging an inclusive city, and we don’t disagree.

The evolving high street introduces challenges to maintaining community spaces as businesses adopt pay-to-stay models for increased turnover, which is great for our economy. Davis suggests striking a balance between community accessibility and high street economic growth is crucial — but how well does Worcester achieve this?

While Worcester considers this challenge, municipal services, such as our city-centre public library, The Hive, stand out as successful community hubs, a stark contrast to the national trend of defunding and closures addressed in the article. However, the question lingers: does Worcester provide enough free alternatives to counterbalance pay-to-stay policies?

In response to the community ownership debate, Worcester takes its own path, with businesses like Script Haven and Sugar Daddy’s Cafe fostering meaningful community narratives. Script Haven, recognised by The Times as the third-best independent bookshop in the UK, actively engages with local talent and charities. Sugar Daddy’s Cafe has become an LGBTQ+ community hub, promoting inclusivity. Additionally, Worcester City Council allocates funding for initiatives like the Arches and Scala Theatre redevelopment, enhancing community accessibility.

The ongoing debate asks whether the high street should grow organically or if active intervention and investment in community-led infrastructure is necessary. However, does this apply to our city?

Worcester appears to strike a delicate equilibrium between economic growth and community well-being, successfully paving its path towards a balanced future.


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)


CUPP Unveils Exciting New Menu with UK's First Mochi Topping and Baby Boba

CUPP have been trading for over 10 years, proudly pushing to be pioneers of boba tea innovation in the UK. CUPP is thrilled to introduce their brand new menu which is set to captivate the taste buds of boba tea lovers across the nation.

The centrepiece of this menu expansion is the Mochi Series (pronounced moe-chee). Marking a historic milestone in the UK boba tea industry, CUPP is the first major chain to introduce the delightful chewiness of mochi topping to their menu. This exciting move solidifies CUPP's position as an industry leader in innovation.

In addition to the pioneering Mochi Series, CUPP Bubble Tea is proud to unveil two other captivating series:

Cloud Series
Elevate your daily boba tea with the introduction of our Cloud Series: featuring a luxurious, light cheese topping that adds a sweet & savoury element to your drink. Take it up a notch and make it a Cloudcake by adding a sprinkle of caramelised biscuit crumbs - think vanilla cheesecake!

Hot Brown Sugar Series
Our nation's favourite - Brown Sugar Series is now available hot! These indulgent drinks can now comfort all of our customers through the colder months. It’s a perfect pick me up to beat the winter blues.

CUPP's commitment to pushing the boundaries of flavour doesn't stop there. The new menu also boasts an exciting array of new boba teas that are sure to become instant favourites:

1. Mango Matcha
2. Brown Sugar Taro
3. Choco- Caramel
4. Passion Fruit Tea
5. Vanilla Latte Boba - for the coffee lovers!

In addition to these exciting offerings, CUPP is proud to announce the release of "Baby Boba" for the youngest members of the bubble tea-loving community. They’ll be offering a free toy for all mini bobas throughout November and December. "We are absolutely thrilled to introduce our latest menu - it’s exciting to see the hard work of our teams come to life. We have put a lot of work and research into bringing the best new boba trends to the UK from Taiwan; the home of boba tea! " Said Lee Peacock, Founder and CEO of CUPP.

The new menu will be available in all CUPP Bubble Tea UK stores starting in October. Whether you're a dedicated boba tea enthusiast or a curious newcomer, CUPP invites you to embark on a flavour-filled journey with these exciting new offerings.


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.


Take our comprehensive Public Perception Survey and have your say on the City

Worcester BID is undertaking a Public Perception Survey that will guide support procedures implemented across Worcester in the coming months and years.

 

Your city experience matters to us. We value your input on your experiences in the city – from modes of transportation to your safety concerns, and even specific locations that you think require improvement. Please share your thoughts with us.
We value your time and as a token of appreciation, you'll be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win a £100 voucher to a Worcester city centre business upon completion of the survey.
Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey, it should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Worcester businesses are on their marks for new Worcester running challenge

The 2023 Worcester City Runs has teamed up with Worcester Business Improvement District (Worcester BID) to launch the Worcester BID Business Challenge and recruit runners to take part in the Worcester City 10K on Sunday 17 September.

The Worcester City Runs have always attracted participants from the city’s business community and the Worcester BID Business Challenge aims to boost that further by offering incentives to firms that get involved. To take part, at least three employees from a company need to sign up for the Worcester City 10K, but the more who take part, the better, with a special prize on offer for the business with the highest number of runners. On the day of the 10K, the times of the first three athletes across the finishing line who represent the same firm will be added together and the team that registers the lowest combined total will be crowned winners of the Worcester BID Business Challenge.

Worcester City Runs founder Steve Cram comments:

“We’re delighted to be working with Worcester BID on this initiative, which can help build team relationships and inspire people in the workplace to be more active.”

Left, Samuel Meese, right, Joe Daly.

Samuel Meese, assistant manager at PureGym, Worcester, adds:

“The team at PureGym, which includes personal trainers and managers from around the region, is delighted to be getting involved with the Worcester City Runs. We have a team running in the 10k and taking part in the Worcester BID Business Challenge, but also, PureGym will be supporting all the runners with a warm up before the race, and then cool downs and stretching afterwards in the Runners Village.”

 

HCR Team

Zoe Atkinson, Head of IT Training and Resources IT at HCR Solicitors in Worcester who are entering a team into the Worcester BID Business Challenge says:

We are so pleased to have an HCR team entering the Worcester BID Business Challenge.  As part of this we are supporting HCR’s Worcester office’s chosen charity which is the Myriad Centre.  In preparation for the Worcester Run, we have started weekly running club sessions which are well underway in preparation for the big day.”

Places are now available on the Worcester City Half Marathon, 10K and Young Athletes Run, at www.worcestercityrun.com. Places on the Worcester City 10K cost £26.50 for runners in affiliated clubs and £28.50 for unaffiliated runners. When entering the 10K, entrants will find the option of joining a Worcester BID Business Challenge team, or creating one from scratch, which they can invite other colleagues to join.


Supporting Safer Nights!

Worcester Safe Space is coming soon!

Worcester Safe Space is brought to you by Worcester BID and supporting partners West Mercia Police, West Mercia Police Crime Commissioner, Worcester City Council, University of Worcester, Worcester Street Pastors to support a variety of people in Worcester’s night time economy who may not require emergency care, but may benefit from a safe space to talk, be provided with support, advice, first aid and have an opportunity to be listened to in a safe environment.

 

The Safe Space will provide the following services:

  • Paramedic
  • Mental health support
  • Street Pastor welfare support
  • Drug and alcohol testing
  • Taxi finder support
  • Security alarms and drink StopTopps
  • Mobile phone charging
  • Change of clothes
  • Bottles of water

 

The Safe Space will run every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night from 22:30 to 04:30 and may also run on other busy nights such as Bank Holidays, Welcome Week and other big events in the city.

Friday and Saturday nights are often the busiest time in the Emergency Department and we want to reduce the number of people attending A&E by diverting them to more appropriate services.

We are hopeful that this service will reduce the pressure on emergency services, enabling them to give faster service to the community.

 

Why is the project so important?

  1. It provides measurable improvements to the city centre offer
  2. It reduces costs to the ambulance service, police and hospital by looking after individuals who could become vulnerable, signposting people to alternative sources of help such as community care, charities and GP services
  3. It supports a human dimension to care, that current emergency staff are struggling to give due to time pressures
  4. It provides understanding, compassion and a personal service that leaves a lasting positive impression of Worcester, meaning every person leaves having had the best support and the best time possible
  5. Creates another layer of support to care for individuals in the most appropriate way
  6. It will reduce city centre crimes (burglary, robbery, theft from person, vehicle crime) by providing a visible deterrent and a safe space for vulnerable people to go.
  7. It will increase local area trust in the concept of a ‘Safe Night Out’ due to the partnership between BID, police, City Council, University, businesses in the NTE and other organisations.

 

Follow Worcester Safe Space on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more updates!

 


The Worcester Carnival is back!

Worcester Carnival will return on Saturday 1st July 2023.  Save the date!

Last year Worcester Carnival had over 30 groups participating in the parade and over 40 stallholders.  They are looking forward to at least as big a show again this year!

Carnival Village will be open 11am – 7pm with stage performances, stalls and fairground and the parade will start at 3pm.

This year, theme is “Our Colourful World”.

For more information on what to see on Carnival Day click on Visit Us.

If you are a central business or resident, please see the councils letter for more information regarding road closures and times here:

Local Resident_Business affected by Road Closures - Letter 2023


Celebrating Worcester's Heritage

Worcester is abundant with historic buildings, museums, traditional cosy pubs and an eclectic mix of independent shops and eateries.

Exploring Worcester's heritage is as easy as A... B... C...

Our Heritage month spans the month of June.

Find out more about places to Visit by following us on our Instagram page ->

Follow Make it Worc Here

Fancy reading our A-Z that's appeared in The Metro, Worcester News, Worcester Berrow, Midlands Living and Live 24 Seven?! Find the designs below or pick up a hard copy.

Live 24 Seven is out now and Midlands Living can be picked up on June 30th!

To top off Heritage Month, Worcester BID's TV advertisement will be going live on the 16th of June at 5PM. Want to watch, join us to see the premiere on YouTube by pressing the link below and setting a reminder! The countdown will start at 4.59!

Thank you to Anja Potze Fine Jewellers', Felicity, for being the voice of the advertisement!

https://youtu.be/CinK3hdt9I4

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May be an image of 5 people, the Cotswolds, York Minster and text

It is your time to Visit Worcester!