17th Oct, 2018

Yes, minister: Heritage chief is full of praise for city after visit

Rob George 11th Jan, 2018

CITY MP Robin Walker welcomed ministerial colleague Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister John Glen to tour some of Worcester’s most iconic buildings.

During a visit on Thursday, Mr Glen sampled the city’s world-class heritage and culture scene.

The visit began with a tour of The Hive, with the Minister and the Head of his Libraries Taskforce meeting representatives from library services and the University of Worcester to discuss the innovative collaboration between the local authority and the University.

They discussed how the city, county and university worked together to deliver top quality facilities, increased visitor numbers and lending of books whilst keeping down costs.

Following this, Mr Walker accompanied Mr Glen to Worcester Cathedral for a tour of the historic site and to meet some of the building’s stonemasons to discuss conservation.

They saw the magnificent restored East Window which was funded with help from the Great War Centenary project before seeing work underway on the West Window and an undercroft chapel which has been reopened with help from Historic England.

Finally they went on to St Swithun’s Church to see how the building will benefit from more than £1.6million in Heritage Lottery Funding announced last year to preserve and restore it to its original glory and to improve its offering as a centre for arts and culture in the heart of the city.

During the visits they were accompanied by representatives from Historic England and former Worcester and Mid Worcestershire MP Sir Peter Luff who now chairs the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Speaking after the visit, John Glen MP said: “I’ve been very impressed by what I’ve seen. The Hive is a unique collaboration between the local authority and the University to provide a world-class facility.

“Other councils and universities can learn a great deal from what Worcester has done here and as Library Minister I want to make sure this best practice is shared.

“What I’ve seen here at the Cathedral shows a real dynamism and desire to develop it in keeping with its historical importance and mission and there is a real community of volunteers and enthusiasts.”

Mr Walker said: “It was a pleasure to show my colleague around our beautiful city and some of the world-class facilities we have to offer.

“We’ve had a reminder of Worcester’s rich history and heritage as archaeologists working on the site of Worcester’s medieval castle have found evidence that the city was inhabited up to 500 years earlier than previously thought.

“The discovery means that we now know Worcester’s history goes back almost as far as Rome’s, which should be even more of a pull-factor for tourists.”

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