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Cultural quarter plans set to be made public
DETAILED plans for a £10 million cultural quarter in Worcester are expected to be made public in May ahead of a 2015 opening, we can reveal.
Architects working on an overhaul of the old Royal Worcester Porcelain site say they are on track to submit a planning application to the city council in 13 weeks’ time.
They have also revealed that if the authority grants planning permission, it will be up and running in early 2015.
Experts working on the project say “nothing is off the table” in terms of what could be part of the new hub, and that it has been given wide support from the arts community.
As your Worcester News revealed in November, outdoor cafes, bistros, spaces to dine in, three outdoor courtyards, exhibition space and a concert or theat- re venue have all been mooted.
The project is being funded by Colin Kinnear, a retired city businessman and philanthropist who wants to boost the arts scene in Worcester.
Vincent Kirk, of KKE Architects, said: “Colin is in a hurry and feels he needs to get on with this quickly.
“We are going to submit a detailed planning application and believe that by this time next year, contractors can be on the site working on it.
“Unlike many other large projects of this size all the funding is in place for it, the amazing backing means we won’t be waiting around.
“In terms of what will be on the site, everything is very much still on the table and the mix is still what we envisaged.
“We are in detailed dialogue with interested parties and the support out there is very strong, certainly from a planning application perspective we are looking at May.”
Normally with projects of this scale an outline planning application is submitted first, followed by a detailed one at a later date, but such is the progress bosses say just one will suffice.
Councillor Jabba Riaz, cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, who represents the area, said: “This is a brilliant scheme which will give great opportunities for young people – it will also bring alive our history.
“It is great news and I believe Colin Kinnear is committed to creating something which, in its purest form, will benefit the whole of Worcester.”
KKE has labelled it “the most exciting project Wor-cester has seen for 25 years” and that it will draw inspiration from the Left Bank in Paris.