Worcester City Councillors are to consider investing £300,000 in Worcester’s Riverside to fulfil ambitions to establish the area as an award-winning park.
The Council has been working with fellow landowners in the Riverside area - Worcester Cathedral, Worcestershire County Council, Severn Trent Water and the Canal and River Trust – to secure a prestigious Green Flag Award for the riverside.
Now the City Council’s Environment Committee is to be asked to back the investment to make a range of improvements that should help secure the award – from footpath repairs to new signs and information boards.
The committee will be asked to agree to formally define Riverside Park as the area from Pitchcroft in the north to Diglis in the south, 83.9 hectares of beautiful free-to-access public open space.
The area was assessed by Keep Britain Tidy under their Green Flag scheme earlier this year. Judges hailed it as a very attractive and vibrant destination with lots of activities and high quality environments, but felt that it fell short of the standards needed to secure the award.
Now an improvement plan has been prepared with the aim of helping the park take the final steps to success. It will be considered by a special meeting of the Environment Committee on November 27.
The Committee will be recommended to approve an investment of £300,000 to make a range of upgrades to the park.
The plan includes the creation of a clear identity for the park with signs, maps and way-finding information to encourage residents and visitors to explore the Riverside. Research would be carried out into the history and wildlife of the area, to feed into the information boards and to inform maintenance and landscape improvement work.
There would be repairs to footpaths, benches and other furniture on the Riverside, engagement with people who live in the area to encourage them to get involved, and work with groups who use the river – such as the rowing club and the Swan Food Project.
Councillor Alan Feeney, Vice Chair of the Environment Committee, said: “More than £5 million has been invested in the Riverside in recent years, and it is now an increasingly popular destination to walk, cycle or relax and enjoy the wildlife and beauty of our city.
“Our hope is that we can make it an even better place by developing its credentials as a park that is good enough to achieve Green Flag status, so I hope the committee will support this investment.”
If the £300,000 investment is supported, the Council will bring in a landscape architect to manage some of the improvement work.
The City Council is also separately exploring options for other improvements to the Riverside, including a new footbridge linking Gheluvelt Park and Kepax, and a new path from Diglis Bridge to Carrington Bridge.