The gates are open! Walking and cycling path links The Hive and The Arches - Worcester
A significant milestone has been reached today in the development of the £4.5m The Arches – Worcester project, with the opening of the gates next to The Hive to create a new walking and cycling pathway.
The new route creates a quick and easy way to get from the River Severn to the growing number of attractions at the arches in Netherton Court and Cherry Tree Walk, and then on to Angel Place and the city centre.
Opening the gates is an important milestone, as one of the aims of The Arches – Worcester is to create a new walking and cycling route from Foregate Street Station to the river, following the line of the Victorian railway arches and making them an attractive new cultural destination.
The news has been welcomed by The Arch Rivals pub, one of the businesses already established in the area.
Michael Davis, owner of The Arch Rivals Brewing Company Ltd, said: "We at the Arch Rivals are extremely pleased to hear that the gates at the end of Netherton Court have been removed. This will have a great impact on local businesses and the community.
"We have managed to establish ourselves over the past two years and hope that by opening this area up even more to the public things will continue to get better.
"This area of Worcester has so much potential and the opening of the gates will play a hugely beneficial part to all the independent businesses in the area." The new walking and cycling path has been resurfaced and painted with temporary markings to indicate it is for pedestrians and cyclists only. Street lighting will also be installed in coming weeks.
Over the next few months, six of the railway arches in Netherton Court and Cherry Tree Walk are set to be converted into studios and offices for local artists and creative businesses as part of the ambitious £4.5m project to create a new cultural quarter for Worcester.
Once the conversion work is completed, permanent signage will be put in place for the new walking and cycling route.
Councillor Adrian Gregson, Chair of Worcester's Cultural Development Steering Group, said: "This is a real watershed moment for The Arches – Worcester, as the opening of this new route from the river and The Hive to the hub of the scheme will immediately bring far more people into the area.
"It is also a significant milestone on our journey to creating a new walking and cycling route from Foregate St station, and a new cultural and leisure destination for our city."
The £4.5 million scheme is being delivered by Worcester Cultural Partnership, made up of Worcester City Council, the University of Worcester, Severn Arts, The Arch Company and Worcestershire County Council.
Councillor Lucy Hodgson, Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Communities added: "The removal of the gates at Netherton Court marks a milestone moment for the Arches project, which I'm delighted to see moving forward. The new walking and cycling pathway will give pedestrians and cyclists easy access to the hub of the project at Netherton Court, and through to the heart of Worcester City Centre.
"The pathway will be of huge benefit to the city of Worcester, and will play its part in helping the city's local communities and businesses to grow and develop. The Arches project will help us improve Worcester as a cultural destination and I'm really excited for the future and to see it come together. "
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport awarded £3m from the Cultural Development Fund, which is administered by Arts Council England, to The Arches-Worcester in a bid led by the City Council.
A number of arches in the area have already been successfully converted and are now home to thriving small businesses, including the Method Roastery (https://methodroastery.com/) The Burger Shop (https://aruleoftum.com/burgershopworc) The Worcester Brewing Company (www.facebook.com/Worcesterbrewingcompany/) and The Arch Rivals Pub (https://www.facebook.com/ArchRivalsWorcester/).
The Arches-Worcester initiative also includes a major programme of festivals for the city. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the next of these will be Worcester Light Night in January 2021. Further details can be found at www.thearchesworcesterfestivals.co.uk