Meet Your City Neighbours - Rachael Mitchell

Worcester BID want to introduce our High Street Heroes, the people from our local city centre community. This week, meet Rachael Mitchell, who is the General Manager of Worcester Whitehouse Hotel and a dynamic driving force behind the city’s hotel and leisure industry.

 

Favourite day out in the city?
A visit to the independent shops for which Worcester is renown, including The Shambles'
Pack It In.

Best thing about working in Worcester?
There is so much on the doorstep to suit everyone and the people of Worcester I encounter are so friendly!

What is your proudest achievement?
I am most proud of my ability to always remain positive no-matter what life has decided to test me with.

Favourite city landmark?
Worcester Cathedral will always be a favourite of mine for obvious reasons but a special mention should also go to The Guild Hall.

What do you do to relax within the city?
I love to sit on a bench by the River Severn, watching the swans and the world go by to recharge my batteries.

What is Worcester’s best kept secret?
Not many people know about the spectacular views you can see from
Fort Royal Park, especially at sunset and sunrise!

What’s the best part of your role?
The best part of my role is easily bringing people from near and far into Worcester for both business and pleasure so they can enjoy all this great city has to offer.

A recommendation now the City is reopening:
Not sure if my 1st option is appropriate so have provided 2!

Option 1 – A walk from Foregate to the river via the Arches, stopping off for lunch at the Burger Shop, a trip to the Porcelain Museum and Cathedral, with a drink in The Swan, a browse in the independent shops with an aperitif at Browns, dinner at Centenary Lounge followed by a night cap in Hop Lords finishing off in TripelB.
(You see? It makes me sound as though all I do is eat & drink!!)

Option 2 – Worcester benefits from great branded shops which are well worth a visit, however if you’re looking for something different, the independents offer a unique shopping encounter with an array of items not found elsewhere. Break up your shopping trip by visiting some of the privately owned bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants which all offer a great drinking and dining experience difficult to find elsewhere.


Vacancy: Have E-Commerce Retail Experience? St Richard's Hospice may be interested...

"We are looking for a Governor with commercial experience to join our Council and to become the Chair of our Trading Company, which is a major fundraising arm of the Hospice. Our Trading Company is responsible for developing a creative and innovative retail strategy to ensure sustainable income from our 18 shops located across Worcestershire.

"The role is voluntary (with reasonable expenses reimbursed) and will require a commitment to prepare for and attend Council and Trading meetings, which are currently held remotely.

"You will be able to demonstrate a successful business career, evidencing a capability for strong leadership, and ideally have experience as a non-executive director and as chair. Previous involvement in the charitable sector would be useful.

"You will be passionate about supporting St Richard’s to further develop our Trading Company and, in particular, our online income generation. You will also have excellent inter-personal and communication skills, both to act as an ambassador for St Richard’s within our community and to support, and encourage, our commercial team and the many volunteers who work in our shops and warehouse.

"We are a Council of Governors that prides itself on its diversity of thought and wide experience, to which we are hoping you could add; we thus encourage interest and applications from all sections of society.

"Your role as a Governor will enable you to become a real part of St Richard’s Hospice and, as Chair of the Trading Company, you will play an important role in furthering the future of this integral funding arm for the Hospice.

"If you can share our passion for providing extraordinary care for our patients, and are interested in finding out more about this exciting role, we shall be delighted to hear from you."

 

The role vacancy is now live on the website https://www.strichards.org.uk/latest-jobs/governor-with-commercial-experience-to-chair-trading-company/


Meet Your City Centre Neighbours - Sarah-Jane Morgan

 

Worcester BID want to introduce our High Street Heroes, the people from our local city centre - community. Who better to kick this feature off than, Sarah-Jane Morgan who is Chief Executive of Worcester Live and the dynamic driving force behind the city’s theatrical and performing arts.

Favourite day out in the city

It has to be a day shopping with my three daughters! We love the city so much, we are so lucky to have such an amazing mix of enchanting independent shops to compliment the high street retailers, it makes a day shopping really varied and different to other cities.

Best thing about working in Worcester

Whenever I have to nip between one of our venues, I often see someone I know from another business to say hi to, everyone is so friendly and supportive of each other, it really is a great city to work in knowing that we are all in this together, there for each other and happy to help boost each other when things get challenging. It’s so important to work together, we may work in different industries but we all face the same challenges and working together definitely helps us succeed.

What is your proudest achievement

Ensuring the sustainability of Worcester Live over the last 12 months has to rank pretty high on that list! I’ve been in this role for 23 months now and to have led the organisation through what has been an undeniably extraordinary time and to have come through with two venues intact, refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to once again welcome back our patrons for theatre and live entertainment, is a great achievement, I am very proud of what our team is achieving together.   

Favourite city landmark

It has to be the Commandery, we produce outdoor theatre there very year and it is just the most beautiful historic setting to be able to present live theatre for the city. I was so disappointed to have to cancel last year’s production due to Covid, but we will be back this year from the 30th June to the 11th July - we are very excited about this year’s production and really looking forward to working with the incredible team there again.

What do you do to relax within the city

We are really lucky to be located right by Worcester Racecourse at the Swan Theatre, we have a fabulous view of the course from our bar balcony. But actually going to the races for the atmosphere is simply fantastic and definitely a great way to relax!

What is Worcester’s best kept secret

I don’t think they are secrets anymore, but I (and all the team at Worcester Live) love all the independent cafes and restaurants, there are so many fabulous ones in Worcester, we are definitely spoilt for choice! We have been running a feature on our Instagram page, WL recommends recently, so far:
Commandery Coffee,
Burger Shop Worcs,
Guilt Trip Coffee/Doughnuts,
Waylands Yard,
Yum Sweet Treats,
The Steamhouse,
Francini Café,
Steam Coffee
.
You may see a theme running here! I also love a trip to
Mr Simms sweetshop for those special sweetie and chocolate presents and I am a fan of Goodroots, I love the space at the Royal Porcelain Works, on a sunny day The Courtyard feels as though you are on Mediterranean holiday, we need more of that feeling in our lives right now!

What’s the best part of your role 

I adore standing at the back of the auditorium at the Swan Theatre or Huntingdon Hall and watching a show in full swing, the audience loving each and every moment of what is unfolding around them and knowing that I am fundamental in making that happen, it’s pure intoxicating magic.

A recommendation now the City is reopening

I recommend joining our mailing list and taking a look at the events coming up in the next few months. Worcester Live, The Swan Theatre and Huntingdon Hall are evolving and there are some really exciting changes ahead. If you haven’t been to our venues or haven’t been for a long time, then take a look, come and visit us and see a show - we have such a lot to offer the city of Worcester!


A big change for the High Street!

Worcester artisan food hall and farmers market to follow HoH Food Hall, Hull launch

The former Debenhams site in Worcester is set to undergo a major 9 month transformation, which has started this week.

Window installations give a taste of what’s to come at the site and once finished it’s planned to house a vibrant, artisanal food hall as well as a community led farmers' market.

Debenhams permanently closed its doors earlier this year, and the RoK Ops team behind the development were excited at the chance to create a new offering combining dining, organic grocery, retail food, music and culture.

With the team’s development in Hull, Yorkshire set to open in summer 2021, the Rok Ops team are keen to start the Worcester transformation.

The community-driven concept supports local producers, growers, makers and bakers, and has been curated by food and beverage expert Des McDonald of the RoK Ops team to deliver a dynamic and unique food driven experience direct to the high street.

With extensive experience in F&B and more than 35 years in hospitality, including an impressive track record of developing, opening and operating over 150 restaurants, bars, cafes and coffee shops, Des will ensure consistent quality and innovation as the project progresses.

He has the distinction of having opened one of the original Ivy restaurants, Soho House and the world-famous Annabel’s nightclub, and has an impressive portfolio of restaurants across America, Europe and the Middle East, including Selfridges and Eataly.

Speaking of the upcoming developments, Des commented:

“We’re looking forward to working with the local community to transform this historical city centre building into something completely new. We’ll be looking to work with local partners at every stage of the regeneration and there will be a real focus on independents.

Eann Ramsey-Smith, Project Manager, ROK Opps added:

“The High Street is undergoing major changes, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating huge shifts in the way people shop. The food hall platform offers local producers the ability to plug and play, creating a diverse offer at each location, where our focus is on the local supply chain, local labour, zero waste, local partnerships and the ability to create a vibrant community in our buildings.

We’re developing a unique concept of Artisan Food Halls, which focus on visual production. Combining food retail, hospitality and culture, all of our food halls will be independent and completely unique; we don't have a cookie-cutter approach.”

Jeremy Seymour, JS LAND & CAPITAL (GLOBAL) LTD (agent on behalf of the landlord) commented:

“Our collaborative approach is at the heart of everything we do. The partnership between landlord, tenant, operators and the local community is the bedrock of everything we are determined to achieve.”

Press contact:
Beth Gray | PR Manager | bethany@sowden-sowden.co.uk | 07715 668030
For more information about the development visit: www.rokops.co.uk


Raising your profile for free!

Worcester BID are excited to announce we are working with Worcester News as part of the Love Local campaign!

For 10 weeks, we will be promoting the city centre and raising your profile. Here's how you can get involved:

  • FREE business advert
  • FREE ‘meet the trader’ coverage in print / online
  • FREE advert for job vacancies via Newsquest

These spaces are on a first come, first serve basis so register your interest quickly by emailing Daniel.Haimes@worcesterbid.com (please specify what you are registering interest for in your email)!


Support for Reopening of Outdoor Hospitality

We have collated some posters that you can use to help encourage safe shopping in your business, reminding consumers to wear masks and follow other social distancing guidelines. Hold/right click the images below to save them:

           

Also available to download are some useful letters that help detail reopening. Download them here: Covid Reopening Letters


Check out Commandery Coffee today!

Pete and Gemma are always hard at work in one of Worcester's most beautiful spots!

Commandery Coffee is an "independently run coffee shop located in the Commandery Museum, with an idyllic garden facing out onto the Birmingham / Worcester canal. A 5 minute walk from the main high street, but feels like a million miles from the hustle and bustle of town."

This hidden gem produces a wide range of hot food, freshly made cakes and drinks, with plenty of Gluten Free and Vegan options to satisfy everyone!

Check out their website to find out more: https://commandery-coffee.business.site/

Have a look at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/commandery.coffee.worcester/

And their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/commandery.coffee.worcester/

If you are a BID business and would like to feature you and your team in the Worcester BID behind the business campaign through social media or in the next Visit Worcester newsletter, email us at info@worcesterbid.com


Lucky Cat Noodle Are Crowdfunding!

The A Rule of Tum restaurant group opened Lucky Cat Noodle as a pop-up ramen bar during the pandemic in November 2020 and instantly the 20 seater ramen bar was fully booked daily.

When Lucky Cat Noodle had to close to dine-in they moved to a takeaway model and 6 months after opening the restaurant is still going strong and ready to upgrade to a full-service restaurant.

Lucky Cat Noodle, an A Rule of Tum restaurant today announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign to raise £30,000 to refit a new restaurant space to replace a 6 month long ramen bar pop-up in Worcester.

Become a part of their story and get great rewards: Find out more here!

Head chef (Pete Dovaston) and A Rule of Tum Director (Dorian Kirk) are both available for interviews, should you wish to arrange an interview, or require any more information or photography please get in touch with Colin Nicholls (Marketing manager) @ colin@aruleoftum.com.


Handmade hats for all occasions!

Jane creates bespoke millinery pieces at Hat House for purchase and hire!

“I’m lucky enough to have worked on some amazing pieces for my clients over the years as a trained milliner. Jx at The Hat House is my millinery studio based at the heart of Worcester’s elegant Friar Street. My shop contains a wonderful range of quirky and classic handmade millinery, gorgeous handbags, cashmere wraps, silk scarfs, Worcester’s most photographed umbrella collection and so much more!”

Shop all of Jane’s products and make enquiries at the online store!

Their website: https://www.thehathouse.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Hat-House-231437670262693

If you are a BID business and would like to feature you and your team in the Worcester BID behind the business campaign through social media or in the next Visit Worcester newsletter, email us at info@worcesterbid.com


Free Reopening & Recovery Webinars for licensed premises

All Hands To The Pump offer free webinars and training for the venues, regulators and place managers involved in the licensed trade, delivered by professional organisations and updated regularly. 

Access the calendar in the link below to find more details about what events are happening when.

https://allhandstothepump.com/events/category/all/?fbclid=IwAR10g3r_IJaCWiHVDeZd1Aw3PFBrqmgL4Wf7mvR1nJaccGoObXQc4qNQBg0