IN OCTOBER Worcester’s High Street was named as one of the top five in the UK, and with 2016 feeling like the year of doom and gloom, I thought it was best to choose a positive story as my favourite of the year.
We can quite often heavily criticise our home towns or cities, but when walking a long Worcester’s High Street we can only be grateful it has survived when many others are dying. Stores have closed this year, but others have sprung up in their place to keep the city’s High Street vibrant.
And the multi-million pound scheme to redevelop the Cathedral Plaza, due to be completed by spring next year, will only improve the city’s High Street further. It proves Worcester’s vibrant and bustling High Street is here to stay; otherwise the developers simply wouldn’t have forked out £20million on the project.
Let’s be more positive about the city going forward, because if 2016 has taught us anything through the doom and gloom, it’s to be more optimistic about the future.
WORCESTER’S High Street has been named as one of the top five in Britain according to the annual Great British High Street competition.
The Faithful City was named in the top five of the town centre category- beating more than 85 per cent of entries, but fell short of going through to the public vote between the top three to decide the winner.
Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales also missed out on the top three, with Hemel Hempstead, Blackburn and Banbury through to the public vote where they’ll compete to win a share of £100,000.
The competition is run by the Department for Communities and Local Government and aims to celebrate the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify the nation’s high streets, like Worcester’s.
Adrian Field, Head of Worcester BID said: “The way so many businesses have come together in force to repel the threat of an out of town retail park planning application, the installation of new floral planters, our mystery shopping programme and subsequent awards night and follow up training, new markets and increasing numbers of users of our anti-crime radios and online campaigns have been some of the ways in which we have been judged in the top 5 in the country.
“We are delighted yet determined to do even better next year.”
Coun Geoff Williams, cabinet member for Economic Prosperity and Growth at Worcester City Council, said: “It’s great news that Worcester has been named as one of the country’s top five town centres, just a few weeks after we’ve launched our new City Plan, setting out a compelling vision for ensuring we are a prosperous city.
“Our city centre is extremely popular with shoppers and tourists, and will be boosted in coming months with the opening of the revamped Cathedral Square.
“I want to thank the traders, businesses, Worcester BID, the City Council’s staff and everyone who contributes to the on-going work to enhance our city centre.”
High Streets Minister Andrew Percy said: “Worcester demonstrated many of the things we were looking for: a commitment to revitalising the high street as a unique place for living, working and shopping.
“Worcester just missed out on the public vote this year but can take great pride in reaching the final 5 and being named one of Britain’s best high streets.”