THE MAYOR of Worcester hailed the ‘fantastic new asset’ for the city after the wraps were finally taken off the £20million revamp of Cathedral Square.
High profile names such as H&M, Cosy Club, All Bar One, Byron Hamburgers, Miller and Carter, Fitness4Less, Yo Sushi!, Kung Fu, Starbucks and Wilko were all officially opened by Coun Steve Mackay on Saturday.
A packed day of fun included a blessing from the Dean of Worcester, the Very Rev Dr Peter Atkinson and a ringing of the Cathedral bells.
Entertainment was provided in the form of music from the Three Choirs Festival, a cookery demonstration from TV chef Lesley Waters, cocktail demonstations from the team at All Bar One and the Great Worcester Bake Off.
The team from Salvage Cinema also brought the magic of the big screen to the square with a showing of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.
Coun Mackay said: “Cathedral Square is a fantastic new asset for the prosperous city of Worcester, and the City Council is proud to have invested in it.
“The square, which has created many new jobs, will help to draw more visitors and shoppers to Worcester.
“I would urge local people to come on down and experience everything it has to offer for themselves.”
Coun Ken Pollock, cabinet member with responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure at Worcestershire County Council said the development had transformed the Cathedral area.
“This is a project that will not only build civic pride among residents, but also encourage visitors to
Worcestershire to enjoy more of the new shops and the Cathedral itself just opposite,” he said.
Tenants have been busy fitting out over the last few months and visitors were delighted with the new shops, restaurants and new square and piazza overlooking the Cathedral.
Both councils worked with developers Salmon Harvester Opportunity Fund to breathe new life into the area and bring 10,000sq metres of floor space back into use.
Matthew Meaden from Salmon Harvester said: “This redevelopment redefines the retail and leisure pitch in Worcester and brings much needed regeneration to this part of the city centre.
“We have brought some big name brands to the city, by providing the right size and quality of unit in the heart of Worcester.”
Des O’Neill, Managing Director at Speller Metcalfe, the main contractor for the project, said:
“It has been a challenging project given its central location and tight footprint, but with the support of our colleagues and neighboring businesses we have created a fantastic addition to the city.”
The opening marked the final piece in the jigsaw for the redevelopment which has also seen a realignment of Deansway to provide an improved link from the city centre and public square to the Cathedral and the Riverside.
Visit www.cathedral-square.co.uk for more information.