It's official: Worcester IS great, say experts

Worcester News: Worcester: lauded by economic experts Worcester: lauded by economic experts

WORCESTER is a great city - and has the potential to become one of the UK’s choice destinations for international tourism, jobs, living and leisure.

An independent assessment has been made on how the Faithful City has performed over the last few years and what the future should hold.

The 89-page dossier, seen exclusively by your Worcester News, reveals:

- Worcester has survived the recession in “remarkably” good shape, with £370m of private sector investment pouring in since 2007

- 5,941 new jobs have been created in Worcester since 1998, an excellent 13 per cent growth rate “unlike” other parts of the UK

- It has a “buoyant” shopping and leisure offer that outperforms even rival cities like York

- Comparisons with the likes of Exeter, Bath and Durham reveal how Worcester has done very well in attracting jobs, money and year-on-year improvements despite the economy

- The city should make far more of its canals and waterways, be bolder and model itself on the likes of Venice

- Worcester’s challenge now is to raise its ambitions, with assessors saying the city has been guilty of not shouting about itself more and “overlooking higher aspirations”

- The ‘quality of life’ is so high, it should be looking to attract more major employers, as living in Worcester would be preferable to London for many people

The city council asked Zeta Economics, a major research firm, to undertake a root-and-branch review of Worcester at a cost of £10,000.

The findings lift a fascinating lid on where Worcester has been heading and what the key aims should be in the years ahead.

It says the city is “moving in the right direction” and that since 2007, public spending of around £70 million has resulted in £370 million of private sector investment going in.

It also says there is huge potential for several “iconic” developments to catapult Worcester into a stronger position, citing the £100 million revamp of Sherriff Street and the future sale of the Cornmarket car park and Trinity House as real opportunities.

Councillor Geoff Williams, city council deputy leader and cabinet member for economic prosperity, said: “The Zeta report indicates the city is well placed to take advantage of opportunities for economic growth.

“I welcome the report as a significant contribution to our ambitious plans to make Worcester a great city for all.”

Worcester MP Robin Walker said: “I completely agree with pretty much everything in the report - we’ve just got to get on with it now and deliver.”

THE CITY CENTRE

WORCESTER’S city centre and the sheer choice of independent shops, chains, bars and restaurants comes in for particular praise in the report.

Of the 31 national retailers considered ‘big’ by Zeta Economics, Worcester has all but six, with the report citing Waitrose, John Lewis and Wilkinson as the main omissions.

It says like everywhere Worcester was hit by the recession, with the percentage of empty units climbing from 12 per cent a year on average to around 18 per cent.

But it praises the clothing and footwear shops in the city, saying the choice is above the national average, making up for a lack of newsagents and confectionary stores.

It cites Worcester’s “healthy reputation” among retailers, and reveals there is considerable interest from new shops to add to the offer, saying 35 have currently registered their interest in opening up an outlet.

It says one key challenge is the “very high levels of competition” from shopping sites anywhere up to 60 miles away, particularly Bristol and Birmingham.

It blames the slow take up of units at the £75 million St Martin’s Quarter on competition, saying “the need to differentiate Worcester has never been as important as at the present time”.

The strength of independent shops is also lauded, with the report saying one of the city’s main strengths is the unique experience of Worcester.

It also urges Worcester to aim high for the future land sale of the Cornmarket and Trinity House, saying it should seek to make a real statement by creating a striking, modern arty development that gets people talking, much like The Hive.

Adrian Field, from Worcester Business Improvement District, which represents city retailers, said: “The number of people shopping online is increasing, with the ‘click and collect’ method becoming more popular.

“The High Street is doing well and a lot of it will be about embracing online and seeing it as an opportunity, not a threat.”

JOBS AND THE ECONOMY

EMPLOYMENT is another area where Worcester has done remarkably well - with job creation described as “very strong”.

The city now has more than 52,000 jobs, a rise of 5,941 since 1998, a story which goes against trends elsewhere.

That growth would have been even stronger if it were not for the recession in 2008, which wiped out around 2,000 positions as companies shrank to survive.

The report says the city can boast “a lot of resilience” and has “kept on attracting businesses” while the wider West Midlands has been in decline.

It does say there is a “significant over reliance” on retail jobs, and that Worcester must be ambitious in attracting larger employers which offer pay better rates of pay.

It says there is no reason why Worcester cannot create more high-level jobs in areas like financial services, architecture, science, research, engineering and computer programming, saying these are the growth industries which hold the key to an even more prosperous future.

It says the economy of Worcester is “steeped in history” and linked to its iconic past, but things are changing quickly and a response is needed now.

Crucially, it calls for the city to start aiming for higher targets, saying “everything points towards Worcester overlooking higher aspirations”.

It argues that Worcester’s ‘quality of life argument’ is as strong now as ever, saying more big firms should be tempted to place their headquarters here instead of the South East, following the example of Sanctuary Housing.

It says Worcester is “well placed to lure” innovative companies over the likes of Birmingham, Bristol and “even Greater London” due to its geography, cheaper office space and great lifestyle.

TOURISM

THIS is one area where Worcester needs to shout more loudly - with the report saying the city has been underperforming.

It says “despite a rich history and architectural heritage” Worcester could be doing better, especially when compared to rival cities.

Worcester brings in 2.5 million visitors per year, most of them from the UK, compared to York’s 3.9 million, despite the report’s assessors saying the Faithful City has a superb offer.

It says Birmingham and Cheltenham either side of Worcester are major markets for Irish tourists, but only “a very small number” spill over and come here.

In 2006, £23 million was spent by tourists in Worcester, but in 2011 it fell to £18 million, despite Worcester becoming more and more impressive.

It cites Worcester’s world-reknowned assets like the Cathedral, The Hive, the cricket and rugby sides, the Royal Worcester Porcelain museum and The Commandery, saying the city has a lot to boast about.

It says Worcester is not featuring anywhere near prominently enough on major web sites like Visit England, where it tends to be elbowed out the way by rivals like Bath and Cambridge.

It calls for a fresh focus on marketing the city as a UK-class destination for overseas people, suggesting the assets Worcester has are not in doubt, but it must shout about them louder.

It also hails the development of the new Premier Inns hotel at New Road, saying that could see a step-change in accommodation.

Robin Walker, Worcester’s MP said: “There are a number of challenges but we are getting better, particularly with hospitality.

“If you look at how close we are to the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon, they get massive numbers of international visitors - there’s a huge opportunity there.”

THE ENVIRONMENT

Flooding is mentioned as being a vital issue to tackle for Worcester’s future prosperity, but the city is being urged not to fear it.

The report says rather than worry about its consequences, more could be done to take advantage of it, both for tourism benefits and in terms of designing striking, modern buildings that can hold off rising water levels and are nice to look at.

“It seems that Worcester could be better off embracing the flood water rather than resisting them,” it says.

“Residential buildings that adapt to flooding can look futuristic and be of high quality, this will not only develop the riverside further, it will add distinctive character and edge to Worcester.”

It also says Worcester’s riverside and canals are a key asset, saying it could learn from the likes of Venice in building around them more to attract visitors.

It describes the current architecture in the city as “amazing”, and pays tribute to the University of Worcester for contributing in a very large way, as with The Hive and the University Arena in Hylton Road.

It also says the “availability of waterfront sites for development” is a major strength of the city, and has the potential to be unlocked further.

Zeta Economics believes focusing on the riverside and canals will also help push the “unclear tourism offer and positioning”, and could tempt more visitors in.

* What do you think? Have the experts got it right? Leave your comments below or email te@worcesternews.co.uk.

Comments (32)

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7:21am Mon 6 Jan 14

voledog says...

"... and has the potential to become one of the UK’s choice destinations for international tourism, jobs, living and leisure."

When anyone says 'has potential' I always tend to think of an estate agent's blurb when they're trying to sell a rather run down property.
"... and has the potential to become one of the UK’s choice destinations for international tourism, jobs, living and leisure." When anyone says 'has potential' I always tend to think of an estate agent's blurb when they're trying to sell a rather run down property. voledog
  • Score: 24

9:36am Mon 6 Jan 14

CJH says...

Why has this report been written with each sentence as a paragraph? Fix it someone please.
Why has this report been written with each sentence as a paragraph? Fix it someone please. CJH
  • Score: -22

10:14am Mon 6 Jan 14

johnowat says...

Shhhh dont tell everyone !! We will get a sudden surge of Bulgarians & Romanian Gypsies who want to live in our Ggggrrrrrrrreat (tony the tiger) City

Then it will be still ran down as it is !! Council needs to adopt a 10 year plan and invite the bigger high street shops to look at the potential. This city could be amazing but will require a huge amount of investment, vision and knowledge which unfortuantley I think our council and planning doesn't have!!
Shhhh dont tell everyone !! We will get a sudden surge of Bulgarians & Romanian Gypsies who want to live in our Ggggrrrrrrrreat (tony the tiger) City Then it will be still ran down as it is !! Council needs to adopt a 10 year plan and invite the bigger high street shops to look at the potential. This city could be amazing but will require a huge amount of investment, vision and knowledge which unfortuantley I think our council and planning doesn't have!! johnowat
  • Score: -4

10:37am Mon 6 Jan 14

watchman_28 says...

CJH wrote:
Why has this report been written with each sentence as a paragraph? Fix it someone please.
Have you never read a newspaper before?
[quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: Why has this report been written with each sentence as a paragraph? Fix it someone please.[/p][/quote]Have you never read a newspaper before? watchman_28
  • Score: 20

10:37am Mon 6 Jan 14

liketoknow says...

sounds good. I'll have to take a look! just one reservation. How can flooding benefit tourism, coach trips,guided tours round Pitchcroft or sealspotting perhaps?
sounds good. I'll have to take a look! just one reservation. How can flooding benefit tourism, coach trips,guided tours round Pitchcroft or sealspotting perhaps? liketoknow
  • Score: 8

10:48am Mon 6 Jan 14

CJH says...

watchman_28 wrote:
CJH wrote:
Why has this report been written with each sentence as a paragraph? Fix it someone please.
Have you never read a newspaper before?
Quotes are not normally split into separate paragraphs are they?
[quote][p][bold]watchman_28[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: Why has this report been written with each sentence as a paragraph? Fix it someone please.[/p][/quote]Have you never read a newspaper before?[/p][/quote]Quotes are not normally split into separate paragraphs are they? CJH
  • Score: -14

11:17am Mon 6 Jan 14

iamthebinman says...

johnowat wrote:
Shhhh dont tell everyone !! We will get a sudden surge of Bulgarians & Romanian Gypsies who want to live in our Ggggrrrrrrrreat (tony the tiger) City

Then it will be still ran down as it is !! Council needs to adopt a 10 year plan and invite the bigger high street shops to look at the potential. This city could be amazing but will require a huge amount of investment, vision and knowledge which unfortuantley I think our council and planning doesn't have!!
What is wrong with Romanians and Bulgarians? Over the last few years we as a county have had a real problem recruiting workers especially in the crop picking areas. A great city would be one that welcomes hard working people from around the world to bring whatever skills they have to contribute to the City's growth.

Who else is going to pay for the useless local lazy multiplying people we are producing?
[quote][p][bold]johnowat[/bold] wrote: Shhhh dont tell everyone !! We will get a sudden surge of Bulgarians & Romanian Gypsies who want to live in our Ggggrrrrrrrreat (tony the tiger) City Then it will be still ran down as it is !! Council needs to adopt a 10 year plan and invite the bigger high street shops to look at the potential. This city could be amazing but will require a huge amount of investment, vision and knowledge which unfortuantley I think our council and planning doesn't have!![/p][/quote]What is wrong with Romanians and Bulgarians? Over the last few years we as a county have had a real problem recruiting workers especially in the crop picking areas. A great city would be one that welcomes hard working people from around the world to bring whatever skills they have to contribute to the City's growth. Who else is going to pay for the useless local lazy multiplying people we are producing? iamthebinman
  • Score: 9

12:56pm Mon 6 Jan 14

newike says...

A great city ! Yes I agree, but............
We have a council thinking about stopping the Park and Ride so visitors will have no where to park outside of the city and IF they find a parking place in the city it will cost so much they won't come again. We have a council unable to see the future benefit of a northern ring route so all visitors from Malvern, Hereford and Bromyard etc will struggle to get into the city via our main routes, and out of our city to visit other places. We have a council considering stopping many bus routes so thousands of Worcester people will not be able to enter their city anyway without great expense. Surely if we want a great future to continue we want a first rate road system, excellent bus service and as many tourist facilities as possible. Will big companies come here if the city is blocked with traffic and parking is difficult to find ?
A great city ! Yes I agree, but............ We have a council thinking about stopping the Park and Ride so visitors will have no where to park outside of the city and IF they find a parking place in the city it will cost so much they won't come again. We have a council unable to see the future benefit of a northern ring route so all visitors from Malvern, Hereford and Bromyard etc will struggle to get into the city via our main routes, and out of our city to visit other places. We have a council considering stopping many bus routes so thousands of Worcester people will not be able to enter their city anyway without great expense. Surely if we want a great future to continue we want a first rate road system, excellent bus service and as many tourist facilities as possible. Will big companies come here if the city is blocked with traffic and parking is difficult to find ? newike
  • Score: 13

1:11pm Mon 6 Jan 14

watchman_28 says...

CJH wrote:
watchman_28 wrote:
CJH wrote:
Why has this report been written with each sentence as a paragraph? Fix it someone please.
Have you never read a newspaper before?
Quotes are not normally split into separate paragraphs are they?
Click on any article on this website or any other newspaper. General newspaper style seems to be no more than two sentences per paragraph. My understanding is this makes it easier to read.
[quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]watchman_28[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: Why has this report been written with each sentence as a paragraph? Fix it someone please.[/p][/quote]Have you never read a newspaper before?[/p][/quote]Quotes are not normally split into separate paragraphs are they?[/p][/quote]Click on any article on this website or any other newspaper. General newspaper style seems to be no more than two sentences per paragraph. My understanding is this makes it easier to read. watchman_28
  • Score: 3

1:26pm Mon 6 Jan 14

knick-knack says...

newike wrote:
A great city ! Yes I agree, but............
We have a council thinking about stopping the Park and Ride so visitors will have no where to park outside of the city and IF they find a parking place in the city it will cost so much they won't come again. We have a council unable to see the future benefit of a northern ring route so all visitors from Malvern, Hereford and Bromyard etc will struggle to get into the city via our main routes, and out of our city to visit other places. We have a council considering stopping many bus routes so thousands of Worcester people will not be able to enter their city anyway without great expense. Surely if we want a great future to continue we want a first rate road system, excellent bus service and as many tourist facilities as possible. Will big companies come here if the city is blocked with traffic and parking is difficult to find ?
Well said, without a joined up traffic policy we will continue to struggle with the nightmare rush hours.

This alone ruins the quality of life in our otherwise fair city.
[quote][p][bold]newike[/bold] wrote: A great city ! Yes I agree, but............ We have a council thinking about stopping the Park and Ride so visitors will have no where to park outside of the city and IF they find a parking place in the city it will cost so much they won't come again. We have a council unable to see the future benefit of a northern ring route so all visitors from Malvern, Hereford and Bromyard etc will struggle to get into the city via our main routes, and out of our city to visit other places. We have a council considering stopping many bus routes so thousands of Worcester people will not be able to enter their city anyway without great expense. Surely if we want a great future to continue we want a first rate road system, excellent bus service and as many tourist facilities as possible. Will big companies come here if the city is blocked with traffic and parking is difficult to find ?[/p][/quote]Well said, without a joined up traffic policy we will continue to struggle with the nightmare rush hours. This alone ruins the quality of life in our otherwise fair city. knick-knack
  • Score: 10

1:50pm Mon 6 Jan 14

moatler says...

What is it that they say about statistics..., so Worcester gets 2.5million visitors a year (that's 6,849 per day) does it! I wish people would check facts before spouting them - surely a decimal point has gone awry somewhere?
What is it that they say about statistics..., so Worcester gets 2.5million visitors a year (that's 6,849 per day) does it! I wish people would check facts before spouting them - surely a decimal point has gone awry somewhere? moatler
  • Score: 6

2:10pm Mon 6 Jan 14

lilboo says...

£10,000 from a near penniless local authority to tell us that?? Exactly what will it change or improve I wonder? I think Worcester lacks imagination, ambition and any kind of decent outdoor leisure space. Glad I no longer live there.
£10,000 from a near penniless local authority to tell us that?? Exactly what will it change or improve I wonder? I think Worcester lacks imagination, ambition and any kind of decent outdoor leisure space. Glad I no longer live there. lilboo
  • Score: 32

2:43pm Mon 6 Jan 14

CJH says...

lilboo wrote:
£10,000 from a near penniless local authority to tell us that?? Exactly what will it change or improve I wonder? I think Worcester lacks imagination, ambition and any kind of decent outdoor leisure space. Glad I no longer live there.
Well I think we're glad you don't either. In fact anyone who doesn't like it can you please also sling your hook, and complain about somewhere else. Thank you :-)
[quote][p][bold]lilboo[/bold] wrote: £10,000 from a near penniless local authority to tell us that?? Exactly what will it change or improve I wonder? I think Worcester lacks imagination, ambition and any kind of decent outdoor leisure space. Glad I no longer live there.[/p][/quote]Well I think we're glad you don't either. In fact anyone who doesn't like it can you please also sling your hook, and complain about somewhere else. Thank you :-) CJH
  • Score: -38

3:10pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Andy_R says...

I can't help thinking the world would be a better place if these consultants, and the the people who wasted £10,000 on them took their advice and 'Embraced the flood water'.
I can't help thinking the world would be a better place if these consultants, and the the people who wasted £10,000 on them took their advice and 'Embraced the flood water'. Andy_R
  • Score: 13

4:40pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Andy1955 says...

It would be nice to see an annual water festival on Pitchcroft. I cant understand why it hasn't been done before.
Make Keith the Seal the mascot!
It would be nice to see an annual water festival on Pitchcroft. I cant understand why it hasn't been done before. Make Keith the Seal the mascot! Andy1955
  • Score: 15

4:48pm Mon 6 Jan 14

3thinker says...

Excellent idea. We could use the racecourse for a Henley style rowing regatta.
Excellent idea. We could use the racecourse for a Henley style rowing regatta. 3thinker
  • Score: 13

5:03pm Mon 6 Jan 14

dropkick55 says...

iamthebinman wrote:
johnowat wrote:
Shhhh dont tell everyone !! We will get a sudden surge of Bulgarians & Romanian Gypsies who want to live in our Ggggrrrrrrrreat (tony the tiger) City

Then it will be still ran down as it is !! Council needs to adopt a 10 year plan and invite the bigger high street shops to look at the potential. This city could be amazing but will require a huge amount of investment, vision and knowledge which unfortuantley I think our council and planning doesn't have!!
What is wrong with Romanians and Bulgarians? Over the last few years we as a county have had a real problem recruiting workers especially in the crop picking areas. A great city would be one that welcomes hard working people from around the world to bring whatever skills they have to contribute to the City's growth.

Who else is going to pay for the useless local lazy multiplying people we are producing?
They want to pay a real wage!
Worcestershire has always had poor wages!
I could never afford to work here and always worked away !
[quote][p][bold]iamthebinman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]johnowat[/bold] wrote: Shhhh dont tell everyone !! We will get a sudden surge of Bulgarians & Romanian Gypsies who want to live in our Ggggrrrrrrrreat (tony the tiger) City Then it will be still ran down as it is !! Council needs to adopt a 10 year plan and invite the bigger high street shops to look at the potential. This city could be amazing but will require a huge amount of investment, vision and knowledge which unfortuantley I think our council and planning doesn't have!![/p][/quote]What is wrong with Romanians and Bulgarians? Over the last few years we as a county have had a real problem recruiting workers especially in the crop picking areas. A great city would be one that welcomes hard working people from around the world to bring whatever skills they have to contribute to the City's growth. Who else is going to pay for the useless local lazy multiplying people we are producing?[/p][/quote]They want to pay a real wage! Worcestershire has always had poor wages! I could never afford to work here and always worked away ! dropkick55
  • Score: 22

6:42pm Mon 6 Jan 14

liketoknow says...

don't know what to make of this .they praise Worcester for it's choice of independent retailers,chains ,restaurants etc. then go on to say there is 'a significant overreliance on retail jobs'. that's surely a contradicton.
don't know what to make of this .they praise Worcester for it's choice of independent retailers,chains ,restaurants etc. then go on to say there is 'a significant overreliance on retail jobs'. that's surely a contradicton. liketoknow
  • Score: 7

7:02pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Landy44 says...

Is it April 1st?

What complete tosh!

If the city council paid for the report, it's hardly "independent" is it?

Yes, of course there is lots to be said for living and working in Worcester, and of course it's preferrable to London. That' just stating the obvious.

BUT the rest of the report is so full of "point of the obvious but not terribly helpful" or "talking up" Worcester when we all know the reality.

Worcester does NOT have a great retail experience, nor does it have a great local economy. IT sure as hell needs both.

It has the "POTENTIAL". It has LOTS of "POTENTIAL". It's had that "POTENTIAL" for years. Unfortunately local politicians keep grasping defeat from the jaws of victory and the "POTENTIAL" has never been "REALISED"!!!!!

"POTENTIAL" is not "ACTION" in order to create the vision outlined in the "POTENTIAL".

Tha'ts £10k wasted!
Is it April 1st? What complete tosh! If the city council paid for the report, it's hardly "independent" is it? Yes, of course there is lots to be said for living and working in Worcester, and of course it's preferrable to London. That' just stating the obvious. BUT the rest of the report is so full of "point of the obvious but not terribly helpful" or "talking up" Worcester when we all know the reality. Worcester does NOT have a great retail experience, nor does it have a great local economy. IT sure as hell needs both. It has the "POTENTIAL". It has LOTS of "POTENTIAL". It's had that "POTENTIAL" for years. Unfortunately local politicians keep grasping defeat from the jaws of victory and the "POTENTIAL" has never been "REALISED"!!!!! "POTENTIAL" is not "ACTION" in order to create the vision outlined in the "POTENTIAL". Tha'ts £10k wasted! Landy44
  • Score: 17

7:06pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Landy44 says...

Landy44 wrote:
Is it April 1st?

What complete tosh!

If the city council paid for the report, it's hardly "independent" is it?

Yes, of course there is lots to be said for living and working in Worcester, and of course it's preferrable to London. That' just stating the obvious.

BUT the rest of the report is so full of "point of the obvious but not terribly helpful" or "talking up" Worcester when we all know the reality.

Worcester does NOT have a great retail experience, nor does it have a great local economy. IT sure as hell needs both.

It has the "POTENTIAL". It has LOTS of "POTENTIAL". It's had that "POTENTIAL" for years. Unfortunately local politicians keep grasping defeat from the jaws of victory and the "POTENTIAL" has never been "REALISED"!!!!!

"POTENTIAL" is not "ACTION" in order to create the vision outlined in the "POTENTIAL".

Tha'ts £10k wasted!
Note: Typo's above due to utter frustration with the continual long term failure of local politicians to focus on what is important in realising the GREAT potential that Worcester(shire) has! If only they had taken note twenty or thirty years ago, we'd be in a much better place now.
[quote][p][bold]Landy44[/bold] wrote: Is it April 1st? What complete tosh! If the city council paid for the report, it's hardly "independent" is it? Yes, of course there is lots to be said for living and working in Worcester, and of course it's preferrable to London. That' just stating the obvious. BUT the rest of the report is so full of "point of the obvious but not terribly helpful" or "talking up" Worcester when we all know the reality. Worcester does NOT have a great retail experience, nor does it have a great local economy. IT sure as hell needs both. It has the "POTENTIAL". It has LOTS of "POTENTIAL". It's had that "POTENTIAL" for years. Unfortunately local politicians keep grasping defeat from the jaws of victory and the "POTENTIAL" has never been "REALISED"!!!!! "POTENTIAL" is not "ACTION" in order to create the vision outlined in the "POTENTIAL". Tha'ts £10k wasted![/p][/quote]Note: Typo's above due to utter frustration with the continual long term failure of local politicians to focus on what is important in realising the GREAT potential that Worcester(shire) has! If only they had taken note twenty or thirty years ago, we'd be in a much better place now. Landy44
  • Score: 7

7:07pm Mon 6 Jan 14

CHANDBRUSH says...

If retail is doing so well why does Crowngate have so many empty shops.When they stop Park &Ride it will have even more. Car parking already hard traffic dreadfull will be hopeless if bus service cut,but people will go to Cheltenham so more empty shops.
If retail is doing so well why does Crowngate have so many empty shops.When they stop Park &Ride it will have even more. Car parking already hard traffic dreadfull will be hopeless if bus service cut,but people will go to Cheltenham so more empty shops. CHANDBRUSH
  • Score: 11

8:11pm Mon 6 Jan 14

3thinker says...

Its really about time our local politicians stopped trying to score points and address the real issues that are holding Worcester back from being the great place it could be.
Having a City and County Council running different agendas is also far from helpful.
Naive I'm sure, but perhaps time to bury party political differences and align support and resources around what is really going to make a difference in driving Worcester forward and for the benefit of all residents, not just the factional interests who may be more inclined to vote for you at the next local election.
Also about time we all as citizens started to demand this from our politicians, but also try and elevate our own debate and understanding above personal self interest and realise there is much more to be gained for everybody by working collectively to make Worcester the place it has the potential to be.
Its really about time our local politicians stopped trying to score points and address the real issues that are holding Worcester back from being the great place it could be. Having a City and County Council running different agendas is also far from helpful. Naive I'm sure, but perhaps time to bury party political differences and align support and resources around what is really going to make a difference in driving Worcester forward and for the benefit of all residents, not just the factional interests who may be more inclined to vote for you at the next local election. Also about time we all as citizens started to demand this from our politicians, but also try and elevate our own debate and understanding above personal self interest and realise there is much more to be gained for everybody by working collectively to make Worcester the place it has the potential to be. 3thinker
  • Score: 9

8:35pm Mon 6 Jan 14

lilboo says...

CJH wrote:
lilboo wrote:
£10,000 from a near penniless local authority to tell us that?? Exactly what will it change or improve I wonder? I think Worcester lacks imagination, ambition and any kind of decent outdoor leisure space. Glad I no longer live there.
Well I think we're glad you don't either. In fact anyone who doesn't like it can you please also sling your hook, and complain about somewhere else. Thank you :-)
Lol, you are a pathetic creature aren't you!
[quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lilboo[/bold] wrote: £10,000 from a near penniless local authority to tell us that?? Exactly what will it change or improve I wonder? I think Worcester lacks imagination, ambition and any kind of decent outdoor leisure space. Glad I no longer live there.[/p][/quote]Well I think we're glad you don't either. In fact anyone who doesn't like it can you please also sling your hook, and complain about somewhere else. Thank you :-)[/p][/quote]Lol, you are a pathetic creature aren't you! lilboo
  • Score: 26

9:50pm Mon 6 Jan 14

presterjohn says...

It's an interesting report to be sure. It is not a truly independent report in anyway shape or form though. It correctly highlights that Worcester can and is a nice place for a tourist visit and has plenty to do for a cultured weekend if that is your thing. It also has plenty of bars, coffee shops and fashion stores that supply a need for a segment of the community search as students and the younger more upwardly mobile crowd. These are all good things. What is missing though is the stuff for the middle aged and older Worcester person. The people who were born and bred here are bit by bit losing the Worcester that they know and care about. family run pubs, shops and restaurants are vanishing one by one and being replaced by chains and franchises. Sadly it is not just us though as it is a country wide thing. When I go for a weekend away to the coast these days I don't even bother with the shops anymore as I see almost exactly the same identikit high street in every town and city I visit. I don't think that town centre shopping is even a thing intended for the over 45's anymore.
It's an interesting report to be sure. It is not a truly independent report in anyway shape or form though. It correctly highlights that Worcester can and is a nice place for a tourist visit and has plenty to do for a cultured weekend if that is your thing. It also has plenty of bars, coffee shops and fashion stores that supply a need for a segment of the community search as students and the younger more upwardly mobile crowd. These are all good things. What is missing though is the stuff for the middle aged and older Worcester person. The people who were born and bred here are bit by bit losing the Worcester that they know and care about. family run pubs, shops and restaurants are vanishing one by one and being replaced by chains and franchises. Sadly it is not just us though as it is a country wide thing. When I go for a weekend away to the coast these days I don't even bother with the shops anymore as I see almost exactly the same identikit high street in every town and city I visit. I don't think that town centre shopping is even a thing intended for the over 45's anymore. presterjohn
  • Score: 7

9:59pm Mon 6 Jan 14

gilly ding says...

what about the lack of factory jobs that pay well enough for someone with kids and a mortgage
what about the lack of factory jobs that pay well enough for someone with kids and a mortgage gilly ding
  • Score: 22

11:01am Tue 7 Jan 14

Roger5 says...

A business park on Broomhall Way by St Peter's would make much more sense than yet another supermarket and hundreds of houses for people who will have to drive to Birmingham for jobs!

All the retailers ever offer is part time and often temporary jobs, not a firm basis for economic development in Worcester. What has been done to act on Worcester being within the so-called technology corridor? Nothing that I can see!
A business park on Broomhall Way by St Peter's would make much more sense than yet another supermarket and hundreds of houses for people who will have to drive to Birmingham for jobs! All the retailers ever offer is part time and often temporary jobs, not a firm basis for economic development in Worcester. What has been done to act on Worcester being within the so-called technology corridor? Nothing that I can see! Roger5
  • Score: 6

12:18pm Tue 7 Jan 14

CJH says...

Roger5 wrote:
A business park on Broomhall Way by St Peter's would make much more sense than yet another supermarket and hundreds of houses for people who will have to drive to Birmingham for jobs!

All the retailers ever offer is part time and often temporary jobs, not a firm basis for economic development in Worcester. What has been done to act on Worcester being within the so-called technology corridor? Nothing that I can see!
There are business parks all over Worcester, many of them with empty units. How would building more help?
[quote][p][bold]Roger5[/bold] wrote: A business park on Broomhall Way by St Peter's would make much more sense than yet another supermarket and hundreds of houses for people who will have to drive to Birmingham for jobs! All the retailers ever offer is part time and often temporary jobs, not a firm basis for economic development in Worcester. What has been done to act on Worcester being within the so-called technology corridor? Nothing that I can see![/p][/quote]There are business parks all over Worcester, many of them with empty units. How would building more help? CJH
  • Score: 1

12:15pm Wed 8 Jan 14

liketoknow says...

presterjohn wrote:
It's an interesting report to be sure. It is not a truly independent report in anyway shape or form though. It correctly highlights that Worcester can and is a nice place for a tourist visit and has plenty to do for a cultured weekend if that is your thing. It also has plenty of bars, coffee shops and fashion stores that supply a need for a segment of the community search as students and the younger more upwardly mobile crowd. These are all good things. What is missing though is the stuff for the middle aged and older Worcester person. The people who were born and bred here are bit by bit losing the Worcester that they know and care about. family run pubs, shops and restaurants are vanishing one by one and being replaced by chains and franchises. Sadly it is not just us though as it is a country wide thing. When I go for a weekend away to the coast these days I don't even bother with the shops anymore as I see almost exactly the same identikit high street in every town and city I visit. I don't think that town centre shopping is even a thing intended for the over 45's anymore.
I agree. all the major towns and cities are the same . bromyard is a nice town with lots of independent shops .Leominster is good too.
[quote][p][bold]presterjohn[/bold] wrote: It's an interesting report to be sure. It is not a truly independent report in anyway shape or form though. It correctly highlights that Worcester can and is a nice place for a tourist visit and has plenty to do for a cultured weekend if that is your thing. It also has plenty of bars, coffee shops and fashion stores that supply a need for a segment of the community search as students and the younger more upwardly mobile crowd. These are all good things. What is missing though is the stuff for the middle aged and older Worcester person. The people who were born and bred here are bit by bit losing the Worcester that they know and care about. family run pubs, shops and restaurants are vanishing one by one and being replaced by chains and franchises. Sadly it is not just us though as it is a country wide thing. When I go for a weekend away to the coast these days I don't even bother with the shops anymore as I see almost exactly the same identikit high street in every town and city I visit. I don't think that town centre shopping is even a thing intended for the over 45's anymore.[/p][/quote]I agree. all the major towns and cities are the same . bromyard is a nice town with lots of independent shops .Leominster is good too. liketoknow
  • Score: 3

12:43pm Wed 8 Jan 14

vexedofworcester says...

Compared to other urban locations where I have lived or worked Worcester is very disappointing. It is a bland place lacking identity and has the worst coffee shops. If you don't know any better Worcester may well be "great".
Compared to other urban locations where I have lived or worked Worcester is very disappointing. It is a bland place lacking identity and has the worst coffee shops. If you don't know any better Worcester may well be "great". vexedofworcester
  • Score: 1

12:07pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Londonfields says...

And just to underline how great Worcester is - it looks like we might have the best chippy in the country too......! So yes, I agree, Worcester IS great.
And just to underline how great Worcester is - it looks like we might have the best chippy in the country too......! So yes, I agree, Worcester IS great. Londonfields
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Fri 10 Jan 14

worcestersfinest says...

It really could be great but let's face it, it isn't! The empty shops in the st martins quarter says it all, cheapo gypo shops will surround the asda supermarket which is never going to enhance the city. Worcester does have some nice little independent restaurants but the shops are rubbish if you are a man, other than pockets what nice 'different' independent shops have we got?

It's better than it used to be but still a long way of the likes of Cheltenham.
It really could be great but let's face it, it isn't! The empty shops in the st martins quarter says it all, cheapo gypo shops will surround the asda supermarket which is never going to enhance the city. Worcester does have some nice little independent restaurants but the shops are rubbish if you are a man, other than pockets what nice 'different' independent shops have we got? It's better than it used to be but still a long way of the likes of Cheltenham. worcestersfinest
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Fri 10 Jan 14

worcestersfinest says...

iamthebinman wrote:
johnowat wrote:
Shhhh dont tell everyone !! We will get a sudden surge of Bulgarians & Romanian Gypsies who want to live in our Ggggrrrrrrrreat (tony the tiger) City

Then it will be still ran down as it is !! Council needs to adopt a 10 year plan and invite the bigger high street shops to look at the potential. This city could be amazing but will require a huge amount of investment, vision and knowledge which unfortuantley I think our council and planning doesn't have!!
What is wrong with Romanians and Bulgarians? Over the last few years we as a county have had a real problem recruiting workers especially in the crop picking areas. A great city would be one that welcomes hard working people from around the world to bring whatever skills they have to contribute to the City's growth.

Who else is going to pay for the useless local lazy multiplying people we are producing?
Valid comment but apart from the little tax these workers will have to pay most of their income is sent home to support their own families not put back into the local economy!
[quote][p][bold]iamthebinman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]johnowat[/bold] wrote: Shhhh dont tell everyone !! We will get a sudden surge of Bulgarians & Romanian Gypsies who want to live in our Ggggrrrrrrrreat (tony the tiger) City Then it will be still ran down as it is !! Council needs to adopt a 10 year plan and invite the bigger high street shops to look at the potential. This city could be amazing but will require a huge amount of investment, vision and knowledge which unfortuantley I think our council and planning doesn't have!![/p][/quote]What is wrong with Romanians and Bulgarians? Over the last few years we as a county have had a real problem recruiting workers especially in the crop picking areas. A great city would be one that welcomes hard working people from around the world to bring whatever skills they have to contribute to the City's growth. Who else is going to pay for the useless local lazy multiplying people we are producing?[/p][/quote]Valid comment but apart from the little tax these workers will have to pay most of their income is sent home to support their own families not put back into the local economy! worcestersfinest
  • Score: 0

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