TOURISM is going to be boosted in Worcester – with two councils teaming up to make greater investment into promoting the city.

Worcester City Council’s Labour leadership has crossed the political divide with the Conservatives at County Hall by agreeing a new partnership deal on schools, jobs, transport, the economy and tourism.

Under the agreement, known as the concordat, both councils will pool resources and effort into promoting Worcester as the heart of Worcestershire.

It follows a previous mutual deal to work together 10 years ago, which was agreed to by the city council’s old Conservative administration.

The concordat will focus on: 

􀁥 Working together to make Worcester’s further and higher education provision “world class”.

􀁥 Sending more business leaders into schools to talk to children.

􀁥 Make sure the number of apprenticeship opportunities increase year-on-year.

􀁥 Joint working on eventually dualling the entire A4440 Southern Link Road and lobbying the Government to finally help fund Worcestershire Parkway, at Norton.

􀁥 New signage in Worcester to promote places of interest to tourists, more investment into the tourism information centre and joint working on museum provision.

Every year the deal will be reviewed to see if the targets are being met and consider how it can be improved.

Councillor Adrian Gregson, city council leader, said: “In some ways the close working has always been there, but this reaffirms our commitments to it.

“This aims to focus on the city as Worcestershire’s county town, better identify what the issues and priorities are, and actually do things about them.

“We all agree what the problems are and where we want Worcester to be, and if this city can boost its economy it will have a knock-on effect for Worcestershire as a whole.”

Councillor Adrian Hardman, leader of the county council, said: “There are lots of areas where the Labour-run city council and ourselves agree, and we want to work on it closely.

“In many ways it refreshes where both councils stand and reinforces our efforts to work together on key issues like the city centre and Southern Link Road.”

The county council has already drawn up plans for part dualling the A4440 link by 2018, costing £38 million.

But the Carrington Bridge stretch of the route will not be dualled until suitable funding can be found.