Aerial Displays to Brighten Worcester This Summer

Worcester is about to get a vibrant splash of colour as summer aerial displays return to the city at the end of June!

In an effort by Worcester BID beloved bunting will be back in our city’s streets. These vivid bunting displays will feature the distinctive Worcester Colour Palette, created by The Colour Palette Company, celebrating the city’s rich heritage with hues named Elgar Bronze, Saucy Orange, Hive Gold, Cathedral Stone, Diglis Deep Blue, and Pear Black.

This colourful initiative ties in with the new artwork by local artist Estee Angeline at Foregate Street Station unveiled in March. This art project, spearheaded by The Art Society Worcester and its chairperson Maggie Keeble, involved a coalition of local partners, including Worcestershire’s Community Rail Partnership, Worcester BID, and The Colour Palette Company, with support from West Midlands Railways and the Community Rail Network.

Continuing the city’s seasonal eye-catching displays, Worcester BID is also set to install a stunning new exhibition on Friar Street and New Street. Building on the success of last year’s popular umbrella display, which garnered international attention, this year will see giant mesh spheres suspended from the wiring. The infrastructure that allows for these displays was first put up in 2021 via extensive work from the BID, allowing the street to be vibrantly activated for the first time. This infrastructure has allowed BID to add year-round festoon lighting, dazzling Christmas displays, and whimsical summer decorations like umbrellas, lampshades, watering cans, ladybirds, and topiary balls, making the street a hit with photographers and selfie-takers.

The new aerial displays will be installed in the city over three days and will be ready to dazzle residents and visitors alike just in time for summer.

Get ready, Worcester—our city streets are about to become more vibrant than ever! Who else is excited?


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.


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.


Service Directory: Support for Recovery in Worcestershire

Please use our service directory to find the best contact, helpline, and support channel for you, a colleague or a friend.

Many services can be accessed for free and impartial help in worcester.

Directory-of-Services.pdf

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Funding the Future: What do you want to see Worcester do next?

Worcester’s transformation owes much to effective city centre management and strategic funding allocation. Four primary funding streams are driving Worcester’s progress: the Future High Streets Fund (£17.9 million), UK Shared Prosperity Fund (£2.96 million), Cultural Development Fund (£3 million), and Levelling Up Funding, with recent news of an additional £5 million injection into Worcester’s cultural landscape, bringing total capital funding over five years to £46 million for Levelling up funding alone.

Since 2019, Levelling Up Funding has been used to revitalise unused spaces like the train arches into vibrant venues for dining, arts, and activities, contributing to Worcester’s cultural growth. The recent £5 million boost will sustain this momentum, facilitating more art projects and community initiatives.

In 2019, Worcester City Council secured £3 million from the Cultural Development Fund to enhance Worcester’s profile as a visitor destination, foster festivals like Light Night, and support local businesses. Festivals such as the Victorian Fayre and Paint Festival have become integral to Worcester’s cultural tapestry, drawing diverse crowds.

To ensure continued funding, collaboration with entities like Arts Council England is essential for sustaining Worcester’s festival momentum and visitor influx.

Worcester BID is seeking ways to sustain the momentum by creating dedicated spaces for youth engagement and promoting discussions on implementation tailored to residents, visitors, and students between city partners. The success of initiatives like Teenage Markets in other regions underscores the potential for similar models in Worcester. Championed by Councillor Joe Bennett, Teenage Markets empower young entrepreneurs to showcase their talents and sell goods at public markets run by teenagers for the community.

As we contemplate Worcester’s future, community input is invaluable. What are your thoughts on providing dedicated spaces for young people in Worcester? What other initiatives would you like to see?

Let’s envision a Worcester that thrives for all its residents.


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.


Worcester BID's Cleaner Streets Initiative: Enhancing Our Spaces

We all share a responsibility to uphold the beauty of our city, taking pride in our municipal spaces. Unfortunately, urban areas often fall victim to graffiti tagging, chewing gum, litter such as cigarette butts, and other forms of damage, detracting from their aesthetic appeal and contributing to urban decay.

To combat these challenges and instil a sense of city pride, Worcester BID is launching the Cleaner Streets project. Beginning in April 2024 and extending through the summer months, this initiative aims to transform neglected, damaged, and graffitied spaces into vibrant works of art for the enjoyment of all.

 

The Cleaner Streets project encompasses various strategies, including the removal of graffiti from brickwork, improvements in lighting where needed, and the promotion of responsible mural and urban art through converting unloved areas into community and business district reflective works of art.

Over the past two years, Worcester BID has already invested in enhancing the city’s visual landscape through the artwork seen on utility boxes and wayfinding signage, as well as via the organisation of workshops and mural painting events in community hubs.

Looking ahead, Worcester BID is committed to implementing prevention methods such as resistant coatings and ongoing maintenance to ensure a welcoming and fresh street scene for years to come. Throughout the Cleaner Streets campaign, success stories will be shared, showcasing the transformative impact of these efforts on our social media accounts. Additionally, Worcester BID is dedicated to collaborating with and celebrating the contributions of local artists and the community. By involving residents and businesses in the creation of public art we hope to foster a collective sense of ownership and pride.

The ultimate goal of the Cleaner Streets Project is to cultivate more vibrant urban spaces while reducing and repairing damage in the city centre. Worcester BID invites talented local artists to join in this endeavour by reaching out on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram if you would like to participate in shaping a brighter future for our city.

Together, let’s make Worcester’s streets cleaner, more attractive and a source of pride for all who call it home. Join us in this transformative journey towards a more vibrant urban environment by following us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn [@WorcesterBID] or on Instagram [@makeitworc].


All Aboard: Foregate Street Station gets a new lease of life

Foregate Street Art is in!

Last Thursday we launched the new partnership artwork at Foregate Street Station with an evening at the fantastic JNCTN.

Over the last six months, we have worked to support The Arts Society Worcester and partners in bringing a new display to the city, enhancing the first appearance of Worcester when arriving by train and showcasing local artist talent. The art also helps with wayfinding with maps positioned by stairwells and promotes our vibrant city to all who pass through.

Find out more by pressing here!

Make sure to pop down to Foregate Street Station to have a look!


Worcester BID's new Safer Streets Role leads to £15,803 recovered

Worcester’s success in combatting retail theft is backed by tangible statistics.

From June 20th, 2023, to March 20th, 2024, Worcester BID’s Safer Streets Officer reported 59 instances of asset and monetary recovery and 88 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 £15,803.00 in just over eight months.

Other support given by the Safer Streets Officer is as follows:

  • First aid 16
  • Intelligence/Monitoring 19
  • Staff safety 5 [Where staff members have felt uncomfortable in certain situations so have shown presence or ejected offenders] 
  • Assistance with authorities/ Witness arrests 21
  • Homelessness Advice/Interaction 17
  • Fraud 8
  • Stolen Goods  6
  • Missing & Vulnerable Persons 2
  • PSPO [Public Spaces Protection Orders] 21

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.


Resilient Businesses: Navigating Flood Challenges in Worcester

Worcester, situated along the River Severn, faces common flooding due to heavy rains, impacting infrastructure, homes, and businesses alike. The highest recorded flood level at the Worcester measuring station occurred on 26 February 2020, with recent bouts of flooding in January and February causing disruption and damage to local businesses, green spaces, and walkways. Community support is crucial in aiding these resilient businesses to bounce back.

At Worcester BID, we have spoken to some of our local BID businesses that are located on the riverside and are thus often disturbed by flooding.

The effect on businesses can be extensive. Julia Seymour, Director of Diglis House Hotel, said “At the inception of my investment in Diglis House Hotel, the advice concerning flooding at that time, was to expect flooding every 40-50 years. Today flooding is common news.” General Manager of Diglis House Hotel, Debra Jones, added that “the flooding brings disruption to our business from loss of revenue due to access issues, internal flooding, the cost of pump systems as well as clean up to the grounds, the hotel in general and the bedrooms. These must be properly sanitised by special companies each time flooding occurs.”

So, how can we as a community help these resilient businesses to bounce back?

Richard Hill, Manager of Browns at the Quay said Dealing with the flooding has been an ever-increasing challenge to the business.

One of the main challenges is trying to get across to the public that when we close due to high river levels, we will bounce back very quickly, often in just a couple of days.

There is a perception that once you are affected by flooding you will be closed for many months, whereas we have shown this does not need to be the case. With the correct flood barriers, pumping systems and resilience work it can be managed, preventing serious damage to the building and its interior, enabling us to re-open very quickly and move on with the business.

We think that Worcester as a community has been supportive and hope it continues to be so. Our customers are very understanding when we have to reluctantly close for a period of time. We like to welcome new customers as well as old ones and hope they think of us when deciding where to go after flooding has happened.”

Whilst Worcester has weathered many floods throughout its history, its businesses demonstrate resilience and adaptability, constantly evolving to withstand environmental challenges. It’s crucial to support local businesses by visiting your riverside venues that are open for business, aiding them in minimising the disruptions brought about by flooding incidents.