Next stage of £19.6m investment in Worcester

Bicycle hire scheme

Active travel, enhancing Worcester's heritage offer, and improvements to the city's Riverside Park will be on the agenda when councillors meet to discuss the next stage of the investment of £19.6 million into the city.

Two more business cases to release cash from the Government's Towns Fund will be debated by Worcester City Council's Policy and Resources Committee when it meets on 22 March.

The city is developing a total of five schemes that will benefit from the national funding pot, with £2.5 million already approved to support the new Severn Centre for Health and Wellbeing currently being built in Hylton Road.

If the Committee backs the two latest business cases, it will lead to the Government turning on the tap for a further £5 million to flow to Worcester.

Council Leader Cllr Marc Bayliss said: "These latest two projects will bring significant benefits to Worcester residents and businesses, and also give a further boost to our city's growing reputation as a tourist destination."

The Active Travel business case includes £4.5 million of projects, the majority of which would be delivered in partnership with Worcestershire County Council.

These schemes would aim to improve and enhance walking and cycling infrastructure in the city, to make active travel a more viable and attractive option for Worcester's communities. They include:

  • New and upgraded off-road walking and cycling routes, linking with existing pathways to provide new ways of travelling between residential areas, community facilities and workplaces
  • Investment in the new Kepax Bridge that will link up with walking and cycling routes in the north of the city, and add to the attraction of the Riverside Park
  • A new bicycle hire scheme, offering both electric and conventional cycles, to make cycling more accessible for both residents and visitors.

The Heritage and Riverside business case is designed to release £640,000 from the Towns Fund into the city as part of a £1.2 million project. It includes projects designed to increase the city's appeal to tourists, leading to a boost to the wider city economy.

If approved, this would see the Worcestershire Soldier Museum, currently housed in Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, being moved to a new, improved display area at The Commandery. This will enhance the offer at The Commandery, increasing its profile and attracting greater visitor numbers to both the military museum and The Commandery itself.

The move would also allow the development of the area in the Art Gallery & Museum currently occupied by the Worcestershire Soldier gallery into a new art and exhibition space.

The Riverside Park will benefit from improved links to the High Street via Copenhagen Street and St Andrew's Gardens. Funding will also support a wider programme of works being delivered by Worcester Cathedral, creating a more appealing link to Cathedral Square and through the Cathedral gardens to the Riverside. 

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