New transport routes, parks and public spaces, housing, business premises and a £385 million annual boost to Worcester’s economy are at the heart of a new vision for Worcester by the year 2040.
Consultation has opened today (10 October 2018) on the new City Centre Masterplan, which sees Worcester becoming a national and international tourist destination, and an even better place to live with more employment, housing and leisure opportunities for residents.
The draft Masterplan includes proposals for the creation of 8,610 new jobs, 3,137 new homes, 14km of new cycling routes and nine new parks, squares and public spaces.
It has been unveiled by Worcester City Council – and you can have your say on this ambitious vision here.
The draft Masterplan is supported by the leaders of all three political parties on Worcester City Council, Councillor Marc Bayliss (Conservative), Cllr Adrian Gregson (Labour) and Cllr Louis Stephen (Green).
They said: “Our aim is to create a successful and growing cathedral and university city, with more homes, businesses and jobs; a city with prestige tourist, education and retail attractions; and a place that maintains its ‘city in the country’ feel, its valued heritage assets and environmental quality.”
The Masterplan has been prepared by the City Council with Worcestershire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) in consultation with stakeholders including Worcestershire County Council, landowners, businesses, the education sector, public bodies and others.
Once the final version of the Masterplan is adopted, it will provide a planning framework and guidance for public and private investment. The aim is to ensure Worcester becomes an even more attractive place to invest, work, live and visit.
To achieve this, the Masterplan sets out to deliver:
- The development of mixed-use regeneration sites, creating new homes and businesses
- Improvements to the riverside and canal for recreation use
- An improved city centre retail and cultural offer in a high class environment
- The promotion of Shrub Hill as a new business district
- New and improved pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the city centre and riverside
- Support for the growth of the University of Worcester and HOW College
- A balance between modern urban design and Worcester’s existing character.
The City Centre Masterplan envisions the creation of distinct quarters in the city.
The riverside and Worcester Bridge
The vision is for the Severn Riverside to become a national and international tourist destination.
It will become a key quarter in Worcester for leisure, recreation, living and other activity as well as providing improved connections across the river to tie the city together.
The concept is for the whole of the riverside to be one linear park with a series of activities, hubs and spaces which encourage people to visit and enjoy one of Worcester’s greatest assets.
Key developments include a new four-star hotel, residential-led mixed-use development, a new multi-storey car park, restaurants, bars, offices and, consideration of the potential for a new riverside theatre venue.
Also proposed are two new pedestrian cycle routes and an improved pedestrian and cycle experience across the existing Worcester Bridge, alongside the introduction of the Serpentine Riverside Walk that will cantilever out into the river beneath the bridge’s eastern arch.
Foregate Street Station – image courtesy of Node
The “City Heart” is Worcester’s retail and historic core. This includes routes and cultural assets to the north and south, the central retail areas and the cultural heart of the city at Worcester Cathedral.
The Masterplan proposes to reinforce the city core, providing improved pedestrian and cycle links, new spaces, a transport hub and new mixed-use development linked to enhanced parking facilities.
A new improved street-level walkway is proposed, following the route of the railway arches from Foregate Street Station to the Riverside and The Hive. This will create a beautiful active space enhancing connectivity and accessibility between key areas of the city and the river.
An extension of Cathedral Square will provide improved links between the Cathedral and the core of the city centre, and there are also improvements planned to the Shambles, New Street and the crossing to St Martin’s.
Key developments include a re-configuration of the Crowngate and Friary Walk shopping centre, with the opportunity for more leisure and food and drink offers.
King Street and The Commandery – image courtesy of Node
The Canalside area provides a significant waterside north-south link from the River Severn and Diglis Basin in the south (incorporating The Commandery, Foundry Street and George Street) up to Lowesmooor Wharf in the north.
The Masterplan proposes an improved canalside pedestrian and cycle link with a series of spaces and hubs along the route to encourage activity and vibrancy along the canal network.
The creation of residential-led mixed-use developments overlooking the canal will help to transform a forgotten but historically significant part of the city. The Masterplan calls for residential and employment development, plus a multi-storey car park off Carden Street, and a residential quarter around Cromwell Street, Padmore Street and Lowesmoor Wharf.
The proposed Shrub Hill plaza – image courtesy of Node
The historic area around Shrub Hill Station includes development to the east of the railway line around Sheriff Street, and development and conversion of buildings to the west of the station.
The Masterplan calls for the area to be reinvented as a new high-quality office quarter, with employment-led mixed-use development incorporating new parking provision, a transport interchange, and the creation of an exciting new plaza at Shrub Hill Station. This will provide a beautiful and welcoming arrival gateway to the city, reflecting Worcester’s inherent quality.
A new high-quality pedestrian cycle link will provide a well-overlooked route along Cromwell Street to the canal and onwards to St Martin’s, Cornmarket and the heart of the city.
Key developments in this quarter would also include a mixed-used site off Sherriff Street including housing, offices, employment use and multi-storey car parking.
Have your say
Residents can have their say on the vision for the Worcester of 2040 proposed in the City Centre Masterplan.
The deadline for responses is 5pm on November 7.
Responses to the consultation will be evaluated and taken into consideration as the City Council works towards formally adopting the Masterplan in January.