Worcester is ready to light up for Christmas

Christmas is coming to Worcester – with the festive lights being switch on in a fun-packed family event on Saturday 26 November.

This year there will be more streets lit up in the city than ever before, including – for the first time – seasonal illuminations on New Road to create a closer link between the festive offers in both the city centre and St John’s.

This year’s Christmas lights are a joint effort between Worcester City Council and Worcester BID – and with low energy LED bulbs being used, this festive season will also be better for the planet.

Free and fun for all the family, the big switch-on event begins at 4pm on Saturday 26 November in Cathedral Square, with Radio Wyvern hosting live music performances from local band Split Second, school choirs, and characters from the Swan Theatre’s pantomime cast of Cinderella. The Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Adrian Gregson, will help to switch on the lights.

If Worcester residents have all been good boys and girls this year, Father Christmas might also make a special appearance.

This year’s colourful festive lights will, for the first time, extend into New Road, and Worcester BID will be supporting lights in Reindeer Court, Lower Broad Street, New Street, Friar Street, The Hopmarket and The Shambles. The latter location will have overhead festive lights for the first time, while the New Street and Friar Street lights will feature purple colours to reflect Worcester recently securing the purple flag in recognition of it being a safe night-time destination.

There will also be a trail of 12 ‘light boxes’ to be explored around the city centre, each hiding an image of one of the 12 days of Christmas. Visitors will be able to use the torch on their mobile phone to reveal the image inside each box.

Councillor Robyn Norfolk, Vice Chair of Worcester City Council’s Place and Economic Development Committee, said: “At a time when many cities are scaling back their Christmas plans, I’m very pleased to announce that Worcester’s festive lights will be better than ever. And, for the first time, the illuminations will take in New Road, creating a colourful seasonal link between our two busiest shopping areas in the city centre and St John’s.

“Despite the pressures that people are under at the moment, we hope the Christmas lights will encourage shoppers and visitors into our city and help our local businesses to enjoy a successful festive season.

“The family-friendly switch-on event on 26 November in Cathedral Square will be packed full of great free entertainment and will kick-off a fantastic programme of seasonal fun – with more to be announced very soon!”

All of Worcester’s Christmas illuminations this year will be low-energy LED lights – with over 80,000 individual LEDs in use around the city. These are kinder to the environment and are also around 85% cheaper to run.

Sam McCarthy, CEO of Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), said: “Worcester BID’s focus this year for the Christmas lights has been around the sustainability and running costs of the scheme. We have focused on ensuring that whist the lights capture the spirit of the season and help visitors and shoppers to enjoy the city centre, everything – including the LED bulbs, use of phone torches that are already charged, and quantities of lighting – has been chosen to be more sustainable this year than ever before, across many busy and popular city zones.”

This year’s extensive programme will bring Christmas lights to the main shopping streets in the city centre and St John’s, and include the traditional brightly-lit tree on the New Road roundabout.


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

 


Hospice volunteer named Platinum Champion

Hospice volunteer named Platinum Champion

 A St Richard’s Hospice volunteer from Droitwich Spa has had years of exceptional dedication to the charity recognised with a national award.

 

Eunice Williams has been announced as a Platinum Champion. The awards were established by the Royal Voluntary Service in honour of Her Majesty The Queen and the great example she has set in her 70 years of service.

Eunice will receive a specially designed, official Platinum Champions pin and a signed certificate from Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.

As one of the original volunteers at the hospice when it first began in Droitwich Spa in 1984, Eunice continues giving her time, energy and enthusiasm until this day.

Claire Watkins, Staff and Volunteer Engagement Officer said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Eunice has won this award. Over the years Eunice has taken on a wide range of voluntary roles with wonderful grace and enthusiasm displaying a natural empathy with everyone she meets.“

Eunice is inspirational. She has shared her skills as Head Volunteer Gardener, receptionist and fundraiser. Her friendly face and compassionate manner immediately put people at ease – in an environment where they may initially be anxious. As a volunteer, Eunice gives her time and her passion for life and her great sense of humour too.

“She is one of those truly special people that are making a real difference in our communities with their kindness and generosity. She’s inspired many others to volunteer – including her husband, Ron.”

Eunice said, “I’m honoured to be named as a Platinum Champion. This award is in recognition of all the work volunteers do for the hospice. I have made great friendships and had lots of fun, being a volunteer at St Richard’s really adds to my life.”

 

To find out more about volunteering at St Richard’s Hospice, visit their website https://www.strichards.org.uk/support-us/volunteering/

St Richard’s Hospice cares for adults with a serious progressive illness, improving their quality of life from diagnosis, during treatment and to their last days. It also supports their loved ones.

Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,100 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.

It costs £8.75m to run the hospice (20/21 audited accounts), which includes patient care and all the necessary support services.

St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations and gifts in Wills for the majority of its income with the remainder funded by the NHS.

For more information about St Richard’s Hospice visit www.strichards.org.uk


Cheers your Majesty - The Royal Garden Party is nearly here!

Cheers your Majesty

After months of anticipation, the Royal Platinum Jubilee is here!  As the nation eagerly awaits 2 extra Bank Holidays to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years on the throne, Worcester’s food and drink venues look forward to the city’s celebrations.

Worcester BID, alongside partners Worcester City Council, is organising a Royal Garden Party in New Street and Friar Street from 11-5 on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 June, allowing the community and visitors to sit out and relax in this glorious setting.  So, if there’s no party planned in your area, get involved in the city centre giant street party.  Come along to the Royal Garden Party and enjoy a free family day out in the historical surroundings of one of our city’s beautiful Tudor streets whilst celebrating the 70 years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

At the Royal Garden Party there’s something for all the family: children’s games, live music, food, competitions and much more… you could even win lunch with a princess or superhero!  Order food directly to your street table from participating cafes and restaurants, or bring a picnic (or both!)  – let’s celebrate!

Elsewhere in Worcester, bars, cafes and restaurants are also toasting her Majesty throughout the Jubilee celebrations – book in one of the city venues for brunch, lunch or an evening meal to share the party vibe.  It’s a lovely long weekend so take full advantage of what your favourite city eateries and bars can serve up.

Follow @MakeItWorc on Instagram for further event teasers and up to date details.


Museum of Royal Worcester celebrates 70 royal years in Porcelain with the help of Stanley Road Primary School

Museum of Royal Worcester celebrates 70 royal years in Porcelain with the help of Stanley Road Primary School

The Museum of Royal Worcester has been awarded a grant from the Arts Council’s Let’s Create Jubilee Fund, administered by Worcester Community Foundation, ensuring that creativity plays an important role in local community celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Sophie Heath, Museum Director said “Thanks to the grant adults and children can get creative all summer at the Museum of Royal Worcester. We’ll be celebrating with an exciting programme of royal-themed creative activities. From Saturday 28 May until Sunday 4 September, we have a special exhibition exploring 70 royal years in Worcester Porcelain and our connections to Queen Elizabeth II. You’ll see samples of things made for her use, royal commemoratives marking milestones in her life, and records of her two visits to the Royal Worcester factory.

Children from Stanley Road Primary School visited the Museum in May for a hands-on creative workshop with local artist, Fliss O’Neill. We are delighted to show you their wonderful array of Very Special Plate designs fit for the Queen and inspired by Royal Worcester, which will be on display too. Throughout the Summer you’ll be able to contribute to our creative artwork wall in the display where we’re asking what you’re celebrating in 2022. Our ceramic studio is offering Jubilee shapes so you can choose to paint-your-own royal-themed mug, princess carriage or crown as a commemorative souvenir.”

Wednesday 1 June is Jubilee Party Day at the Museum and everyone is invited to take part in creative arts activities inside and outside the Museum. You can get involved and help create our Big Tea Party Wall celebratory artwork with artist Fliss O’Neill on the day. Our Pop-Up Museum will be back in the courtyard, with royal-themed crafty activities. There will be tea-tasting and bite-sized gallery talks. Book at www.museumofroyalworcester.org/jubilee

Darren Henley, Chief Executive at Arts Council England said “The Let’s Create Jubilee Fund is a wonderful example of our ambition to give everyone the opportunity to participate in and experience the arts, culture and creativity – made possible thanks to National Lottery players. This June, we’ll see communities across England coming together to celebrate a historic milestone for this country. I’m excited to see these projects brought to life in villages, towns and cities across the country as our wonderfully creative communities celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.”

Rosemary Macdonald, CEO, UK Community Foundations, said: “For community foundations, people and places are the priority and the Queen's Platinum Jubilee is a unique opportunity for people to get together and celebrate in their communities. We are proud to have connected Arts Council England with local organisations whose imaginative and exciting projects and collaborations with professional artists will bring communities together to enjoy marking this milestone moment in our history.”

HM The Queen Elizabeth II is the first monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, having overtaken Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch in 2015.  Her reign has been marked by a commitment to public service, reflected by her extensive programme of engagements at home and abroad, and support for over 600 cultural organisations, charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations.


Over 50 Jobs Created in Worcester Town Centre as The Botanist Gets Ready for Summer Opening!

Known for its lavish botanical themed interiors, award-winning bar and restaurant The Botanist has announced that it’s now hiring a full team to run operations at its new Cathedral Square venue, with 50-60 roles available.  

 

 

Hopeful of a July opening, the brand is looking for front and back of house staff, from Chefs to Servers to Bartenders, and encourages creativity, individuality and personal flair from its employees. 

 

Roles are also advertised for a Duty Manager and Sous Chef to join the growing team.  

 

Rachel Guy, Openings Manager at New World Trading Company added, “Our stunning new opening brings the opportunity for exceptional individuals to join us. Joining us at the beginning of our journey means you’ll be bringing our unique brand to life with the help of award-winning training. 

 

 

“Our in-house Management Academy & Future Managers programme offers transparent career pathways and the chance to progress across our nationwide brand family.” 

 

 

To find out more about the opportunities available and apply, visit https://thebotanist.uk.com/opening-roles.  

 

 

The brand is also on the hunt for talented local musicians, across a range of genres including rock, pop, soul and R&B, to join its roster of artists in delivering live entertainment at the new venue. To apply, visit https://thebotanist.uk.com/music-recruitment.   

 

 

Worcester’s winers and diners can look forward to The Botanist’s world-class cocktails, extensive craft beer offering and famed hanging kebabs. Live music is another key ingredient in helping to create a relaxed and atmospheric experience-led social venue, ideal for family meals, sophisticated evenings and celebrating special occasions. 

 

To stay up to date with The Botanist Worcester’s opening, follow it’s Facebook page or sign up to its newsletter to be the first to know about exclusive invites and offers for the opening week.  


Exciting News from Bottles HQ!

A message from Bottles HQ to you!

 

Exciting News from Bottles HQ! After lots of lovely feedback and the growing success of our Wine Shop we will now be extending our opening times and utilising the gorgeous space within and above the shop for full ‘Drink In’ service. Customers will have access to our FULL range of wines to drink in the comfort of our beautiful and classic Wine Shop.

New opening times will be;

  • Monday-Friday 10am-10pm
  • Saturday 9am-10pm
  • Sunday 10am-5pm

Not only will you have access to our incredibly versatile wine list, but we will also be stocking only the most premium spirits and a small selection of European bottled beers (for those that don’t fancy the vino!)

We will also be offering taster ‘Wine Flights’ accompanied with bites of perfectly paired cheese & meat, as well as full cheese or charcuterie boards. Kick back in the cosy comfort of our ‘Bordeaux Room.’ Think; old oak Barrels, warm glowing tapered candles and of course our trained sommeliers on hand to guide you through our unique and extensive collection of wine. This could be your new weekly (or multiple times weekly!) spot to kick back after a hard day at work.

We also offer outdoor seating as those summer nights are just on the horizon, our shop is situated in the heart of Worcester’s historic city Centre in Reindeer Court (WR1 2DS.)

So what are you waiting for? We’re just waiting for you!

 


What's new in Worcester? And how can your shopping support Ukraine?

What's New In Worcester?


Art is Ar't has its official opening! 

Mayor Stephen Hodges with the ribbon

Having arrived in Worcester from Redditch in December 2021, Art is Ar't had its Official Opening day on Saturday just gone, 26th of March. The Mayor, Stephen Hodges, performed the duty of cutting the ribbon and announcing the gallery as officially open at 10.30 am. A small gathering was there for the ribbon-cutting, made up of the gallery staff and some local artists and their partners.

 

Dermot O’Connor, Owner

Gallery owner Dermot O’Connor said "visitors to the gallery were greeted with Prosecco and small bites to eat throughout the day, to help us to celebrate our arrival in the city centre, which was needed in order to expand our business operations. Based in Crowngate, opposite the House Of Fraser, the move here has proved very successful, with good footfall to the gallery from the shoppers in Worcester, resulting in a good level of art sales and wonderful feedback from locals and visitors to the city alike. As a Fine Art gallery, we exhibit and sell original works of art and exclusive Limited Edition prints by award-winning, world-renowned artists. We also give up wall space for local artists to show and sell their art too."

 

Some of the gathering for the ribbon-cutting ceremony 

Throughout the day, local artists met with the public and talk about themselves and their art. There was also a crafting table set up for the children of the visitors. Being Mother’s Day on the Sunday, 27th, children were able to decorate wooden hearts and plaques with colouring pens and stick on shapes, for their mums, for a personalised Mother’s Day gift.

 

Some of the childrens’ decorated hearts

The event was a big success. Make sure to check out the new gallery when you are next visiting the City Centre.


How can your shopping support Ukraine?

The Entertainer is running a fundraising appeal to support the work of both the British Red Cross and The Salvation Army in their response work to the Ukraine crisis.

As of Thursday 31st March, 100% of proceeds (excluding VAT) from selected Mattel products sold in The Entertainer stores will be donated to the British Red Cross and The Salvation Army’s Ukraine Crisis Appeals. The programme features four of The Entertainer’s best-selling Mattel products; the Barbie You Can Be Anything Travel playset, Hot Wheels Infinity playset, Scrabble and Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn 123 Schoolbook Activity Toy. The Entertainer is providing the funds up-front to both the British Red Cross and The Salvation Army’s Ukraine Crisis Appeals ahead of the sales programme launch, to ensure families and those affected can receive urgent support.

These toys will be in a prominent location in-store to make them easy to find. So if you were considering buying a scrabble set, make it The Entertainer to provide support to Ukraine.


The Botanist Confirms It’s Coming to Worcester!

The Botanist – one of the UK’s most celebrated bar-and-restaurant brands – has today confirmed rumours that it has signed up to Cathedral Square, giving town centre visitors and workers even more to look forward to as we head into spring.

Set to open to the public later this year, the award-winning flagship brand of acclaimed bar, pub and restaurant operator New World Trading Company is renowned for its lavish botanical-themed interiors.

Worcester’s winers and diners can look forward to The Botanist’s world-class cocktails, extensive craft beer offering and famed hanging kebabs. Live music is another key ingredient in helping to create a relaxed and atmospheric experience-led social venue, ideal for family meals, sophisticated evenings and celebrating special occasions.

Samuel Pisani, Centre Manager at Cathedral Square Worcester said, “As the Centre Manager of Cathedral Square, I am thrilled and excited that we can now share the news that The Botanist will be joining our scheme in the heart of Worcester.

Not only will The Botanist be a great addition to the mix of retail and leisure that we currently have, but they will also add further employment opportunities to the local community.

The Botanist share the vision of our Owners and Centre Management Team in offering a diverse and exciting retail and leisure experience for our customers and we look forward to them opening their doors to the public this Spring.”

Photo by Jack Kirwin -JK Photography-

Natasha Waterfield, Chief Operating Officer at New World Trading Company said, “Bringing our unique concepts to new cities and towns for the first time is always an exciting moment for the business.

“Cathedral Square is an exciting new lifestyle destination which aligns with our brand vision. We can’t wait for the residents of Worcester to experience our truly immersive offer at The Botanist.”

Rachel Guy, Openings Manager at New World Trading Company added, “Our stunning new opening brings the opportunity for exceptional individuals to join us. We’re currently recruiting a management team to join us at The Botanist Worcester. Those interested in joining our team will receive award-winning training and the chance to progress across our nationwide brand family.”

Keep an eye out for job opportunities at https://nwtc.uk.com/careers.

The brand is also on the hunt for talented local musicians, across a range of genres including rock, pop, soul and R&B, to join its roster of artists in delivering live entertainment at the new venue. To apply, visit https://thebotanist.uk.com/music-recruitment.


It’s time for a big switch on in Friar Street and New Street with the installation of new festoon lighting

It’s time for a big switch on in Friar Street and New Street with the installation of new festoon lighting along both streets, thanks to Worcester Business Improvement District (BID).

 

Worcester BID is responsible for the infrastructure and installation of year round festoon lighting along these two popular, historic streets. For years Friar Street and New Street could not have Christmas lighting or bunting due to a lack of fixing points. This is all about to change thanks to the BID. The lights will be in place by the end of October ready to celebrate the festive period and then stay in place into next year and beyond.

Hannah Webb from Bottles Wine Bar on New Street agrees: “We’re so excited at Bottles at the prospect of festoon lighting all down two of Worcester’s most historic streets. As a Worcester girl who has lived and worked largely on New Street and Friar Street it really inspires a sense of nostalgia and I believe will create a gorgeous atmosphere down our already buzzing little streets. They are a welcome addition, highlighting some of Worcester best independent businesses and boutiques. “

 

Terry Goodwin-Jones and Popi Pribojac own and run The Kings Gallery & Mangojuice Gallery on New Street.  Terry comments: “We are very pleased and excited to hear about the new festoon lighting for Friar Street and New Street. Having traded in New Street for 22 years, it has often felt that we are poor relations to other areas because we never have any Christmas lights, so to now have some permanent festoon lighting is fantastic, especially with the darker evenings coming. It will make these streets so much more atmospheric at night. This is another good initiative by Worcester BID to make Worcester a more attractive place to visit!”

 

Anja Potze owner of Anja Potze Fine Jewellery on Friar Street adds:  “We are thrilled to have the new festoon lighting on Friar Street, shining a spotlight on our independent boutiques, bars and restaurants. This is a thoughtful infrastructure for BID to put in place – and one that visitors and residents will love.”

 

And from Worcester BID, Samantha McCarthy says: “The anticipation around this new festoon lighting is brilliant to see.  It is in initiatives like this that city centres see their truest benefit from the BID, as a private sector support to provide extra elements to the city centre to assist our shops and business. Delivering projects to enhance the public realm is key to support with the recovery of our city post pandemic. We are encouraging locals and visitors to explore different areas of Worcester, helping spread footfall and spend.”

 

 

 

Boxed panel

Worcester Business Improvement District is a business-led and business-funded body, working to improve and promote Worcester city centre as a place to live, work, visit and invest. As a democratically elected, independent body, Worcester BID enables more than 600 businesses to work collectively to influence and impact on how Worcester city centre is managed and develops. BID has been successful to secure its third term with the objectives to promote, support and enhance Worcester.

along both streets, thanks to Worcester Business Improvement District (BID).

 

Worcester BID is responsible for the infrastructure and installation of year round festoon lighting along these two popular, historic streets. For years Friar Street and New Street could not have Christmas lighting or bunting due to a lack of fixing points. This is all about to change thanks to the BID. The lights will be in place by the end of October ready to celebrate the festive period and then stay in place into next year and beyond.

 

Hannah Webb from Bottles Wine Bar on New Street agrees: “We’re so excited at Bottles at the prospect of festoon lighting all down two of Worcester’s most historic streets. As a Worcester girl who has lived and worked largely on New Street and Friar Street it really inspires a sense of nostalgia and I believe will create a gorgeous atmosphere down our already buzzing little streets. They are a welcome addition, highlighting some of Worcester best independent businesses and boutiques. “

 

Terry Goodwin-Jones and Popi Pribojac own and run The Kings Gallery & Mangojuice Gallery on New Street.  Terry comments: “We are very pleased and excited to hear about the new festoon lighting for Friar Street and New Street. Having traded in New Street for 22 years, it has often felt that we are poor relations to other areas because we never have any Christmas lights, so to now have some permanent festoon lighting is fantastic, especially with the darker evenings coming. It will make these streets so much more atmospheric at night. This is another good initiative by Worcester BID to make Worcester a more attractive place to visit!”

 

Anja Potze owner of Anja Potze Fine Jewellery on Friar Street adds:  “We are thrilled to have the new festoon lighting on Friar Street, shining a spotlight on our independent boutiques, bars and restaurants. This is a thoughtful infrastructure for BID to put in place – and one that visitors and residents will love.”

 

And from Worcester BID, Samantha McCarthy says: “The anticipation around this new festoon lighting is brilliant to see.  It is in initiatives like this that city centres see their truest benefit from the BID, as a private sector support to provide extra elements to the city centre to assist our shops and business. Delivering projects to enhance the public realm is key to support with the recovery of our city post pandemic. We are encouraging locals and visitors to explore different areas of Worcester, helping spread footfall and spend.”

 

 

Worcester Business Improvement District is a business-led and business-funded body, working to improve and promote Worcester city centre as a place to live, work, visit and invest. As a democratically elected, independent body, Worcester BID enables more than 600 businesses to work collectively to influence and impact on how Worcester city centre is managed and develops. BID has been successful to secure its third term with the objectives to promote, support and enhance Worcester.