Arches boosted with share of £1.57billion Govt fund

A MAJOR Worcester arts project has been handed a £145,000 lifeline from the Government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund

Worcester Arches has been awarded £145,915 from the programme to help deliver a project which will help to strengthen the region’s cultural infrastructure.

The project will regenerate iconic railway viaducts into a modern, 21st century workplace for creative industries, and a cultural destination for tourists and local communities with a direct pedestrian link from Foregate St Station to the arches and down to the river, creating citywide festivals to attract audiences to the city through arts activity; and supporting the city’s existing festival infrastructure and wider creative industries with training, apprenticeships and other skills opportunities.

Coun Adrian Gregson, chair of Worcester’s Cultural Development Steering Group, said: “All the partners are grateful to Arts Council England for awarding this additional capital funding to The Arches – Worcester.

“The Covid pandemic has inevitably led to delays in the project schedule, and this contribution from the Capital Kickstart Fund will mean that we can still deliver our plans for the Arches to become an exciting cultural, creative and social hub for Worcester.

“It’s good to see the character of the area already starting to transform, with the opening up of the new walking route and several new businesses launching in the individual arches.”

The Repayable Finance programme will provide loans of £3million and above to some of England’s largest and most prestigious cultural organisations, helping them to weather the effects of the pandemic and reopen when it is safe to do so.

Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting The Arches project as a hub for creativity, outdoor art installations and citywide celebrations for people of Worcester.  This project helps bring communities together, creates business partnerships, and assists in instilling enhanced civic pride. We look forward to seeing Worcester’s iconic railway viaducts transform to become a modern workspace for creatives and a cultural destination for tourists and local communities.

“Our Capital Grants programme provides organisations with vital funding to ensure they have the right buildings and equipment to help them become more sustainable and innovative places, as they deliver exciting work to the public. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to increasing costs and time delays to many projects, so we’re delighted to offer additional funding to make sure these projects are completed, re-opened and of benefit to all.”

Worcester – The Worcester Observer