13th Aug, 2020

Commandery revamp to boost city heritage

A MAJOR project to bring to life Worcester’s Civil War story at The Commandery will become a reality after a £356,000 cash injection.

The landmark city heritage site is embarking on the project to improve its visitor offering after securing £260,000 from Worcester City Council and £96,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

As part of the revamp, an entire wing of The Commandery will tell the story of how the Faithful City saw the first and last battles of the English Civil War.

Visitors will be taken on a journey through the historic building, surrounded by smells and sounds of battle, through events leading up to the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

Residents from the city and further afield will also be able to meet the main characters of the war and choose their allegiance to King or Parliament; get to know their civil war weapons, dress ready for battle and plan their strategy on the battlefield.

The improvements were also made possible after securing extra funding from Worcestershire County Council, Arts Council England, the Sealed Knot and the Friends of Worcester Museums and Art Gallery.

The Commandery will also undergo £120,000 worth of repairs after the City Council approved the plans back in September to coincide with the building’s refurbishment.

It’s hoped the displays will be opened in summer 2017.

Coun Roger Berry, City Council cabinet member for Housing and Heritage, said: “The City Council investment will revitalise The Commandery for residents and visitors, and assure its place as one of the most significant heritage attractions in Worcester.

“Our Civil War story is an important one to tell; it really did ‘happen here,’ and it’s right that we reflect this vital part of the city’s history and the impact it had on England’s democracy.”

Chairman of the Joint Museums Committee and County Council cabinet member for Localism and Communities, Coun Lucy Hodgson, said: “The development of The Commandery will greatly enhance Worcester’s position as a heritage city.

“Together with our many attractions such as the Cathedral and the Guildhall, plus our beautiful riverside and historic shopping areas this will place us on the tourist map as a destination with much to offer,” she added.

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