Worcester’s railway arches are set to be transformed into a major new cultural destination for the city, providing a hub for business and creative skills development.

In January 2019 the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport awarded £3m in funding to this ambitious £4.5m project, from the Cultural Development Fund.

This investment will be used to create a new key gateway for the city, following the line of the Victorian arches from Foregate Street railway station to The Hive and the river Severn.

Eight of the arches will be refurbished, becoming dynamic work and creative spaces, transforming the area into a modern, 21st Century workplace for creative industries and a cultural destination for tourists and local communities.

A leadership and entrepreneurial skills programme will be developed to encourage graduates and others to seek pathways into employment and business start-up, with 67 new jobs being created and over 500 training places.

A Festivals Hub will be established in the arches, delivering festivals and cultural events across Worcester. The Festivals Hub will support festival organisers, encouraging skills development and volunteer opportunities in the creative industries.

The arches will also host an information point for tourists visiting the city, and continue to be a thriving vibrant home for independent retail and food offers.

Who’s involved

The funding bid was successfully prepared by Worcester Cultural Partnership, which will match it with a further £1.5m.

The Partnership is led by Worcester City Council and comprises:

  • The University of Worcester
  • Severn Arts
  • Network Rail
  • Worcestershire Arts Partnership
  • Worcestershire County Council
  • Local businesses including Burger Shop / A Rule of Tum, Method Roastery and The Hive.