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29th Jun, 2022

New arts quarter shaping up

Worcester Editorial 22nd Jan, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

THIS latest image shows how one of the city’s most historic sites could be transformed into a vibrant arts quarter.

They were revealed as proposals to redevelop the former Royal Worcester Porcelain works on Severn Street were submitted to Worcester City Council.

The ambitious £10million scheme, which is being led by The Bransford Trust, will include a variety of shops, restaurants and bars as well as studios for independent creative companies.

There will also be a venue, called the ‘1851 Showroom’, which will provide space for exhibitions, specialist markets and artistic performances.

Vincent Kirk, director at KKE Architects, which drew up the plans, believes the project will breathe new life into the area, while revitalising the old porcelain works, which closed in 2009 after more than 300 years of production.

“Until now that whole area has just been about creating new homes, but there is not much to do there, so this will balance that out as it will bring some activity there,” he said.

“There will be aspects of porcelain which will come to the fore as it is going to bring back a lot of people who used to work on the site while mixing those people in with other artists and artisans who are coming to take advantage of a whole new development based on arts and crafts.”

Mr Kirk said work was still on going to attract businesses and groups to the site, but he said the development had received “almost entirely” positive feedback.

“It has taken a year to get to this point as we have met and talked to many people in the area,” he added. “We have also spent time trying to avoid moving things from the city centre to the site, so we have been really keen to create new uses and activities.

“We also want to link up with the Commandery, the Museum of Royal Worcester and the Cathedral, so we can boost that whole heritage side of Worcester.

“There is a long way to go yet, but if we gain planning permission that will be a massive hurdle for us.”

The application is expected to be determined by the city council’s planning committee in March.

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