AMBITIOUS proposals to breathe new life into several areas of Worcester have been handed a major boost with nearly £20million of Government cash.
The Faithful City is one of 26 places in England to get a share of the £610million Stronger Towns Fund which will allow work on the city’s Town Investment Plan to get underway.
While the cash injection is around £8million less the bid submitted by council chiefs in January, the £19.6million handed out will fund the regeneration of Shrub Hill railway station and its surrounding area to revitalise one of the key gateways to the city.
This is expected to include around 100 new homes and an enterprise centre to support small businesses.
The bid also includes plans for a health and wellness centre on the west side of the river which will support the University of Worcester’s plans to expand its nurse training and deliver a medical school.
It will also support active travel across the city with the number of cycle routes being boosted, a new river crossing for walkers and cyclists and a cycle hire scheme with conventional and electric bikes while funds also be used boost Worcester’s heritage and landmark riverside.
There will also be and a focus on skills and transport improvements across Gorse Hill, Rainbow Hill and Warndon as well as a new construction skills centre for Dines Green, areas left behind according to Worcester MP Robin Walker.
“This investment is a massive vote of confidence in the city of Worcester,” he said.
“The regeneration of this area around Shrub Hill is at the heart of this bid and I am particularly pleased to see further opportunities for investment, jobs, and economic growth around the city.
“This record-breaking investment in regeneration for our city will make a real difference and could hardly be more timely,” Mr Walker added.
Worcester has already benefited with £17.9million from the Future High Streets Fund to transform the Scala Theatre, Angel Place and the Corn Exchange and £3million of cultural funding to support the regeneration of the Arches.
Each Town Deal is managed by a board, made up of community leaders and Mr Walker has served on the board for Worcester’s Town Deal since its inception, working alongside Guildhall leader Coun Marc Bayliss and County Council chief Coun Simon Geraghty.
Coun Bayliss said: “Together these funds provide us with a once in a generation opportunity to create an even better city, fit for the 21st century and which helps all our communities to fulfil their potential.
“Working together with a range of partners Worcester has demonstrated again its ability to make a compelling case for investment.”