Worcester’s railway arches are set to be transformed into a major new cultural destination for the city, providing a hub for business and creative skills development.
The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright MP, has today awarded £3m in funding to this ambitious £4.5m project, from the Cultural Development Fund. This is a new DCMS / Arts Council England fund that focuses on developing the economic impact of creative industries, arts and heritage.
The funding will be used to create a new key gateway for the city, following the line of the Victorian arches from Foregate Street railway station to The Hive and the river Severn.
Eight of the arches will be refurbished, becoming dynamic work and creative spaces, transforming the area into a modern, 21st Century workplace for creative industries, and a cultural destination for tourists and local communities.
A leadership and entrepreneurial skills programme will be developed to encourage graduates and others to seek pathways into employment and business start-up, with 67 new jobs being created and over 500 training places.
A Festivals Hub will be established in the arches, delivering festivals and cultural events across Worcester. The Festivals Hub will support festival organisers, encouraging skills development and volunteer opportunities in the creative industries.
The arches will also host an information point for tourists visiting the city, and continue to be a thriving vibrant home for independent retail and food offers.
The project will include improvements to the environment of the arches area, including new lighting and surfacing of the walkway, as well as key infrastructure including electricity and plumbing to the spaces that will be created within the individual arches.
The funding bid was successfully prepared by Worcester Cultural Partnership, which will match it with a further £1.5m.