WORCESTER received a royal visit on Wednesday as His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester officially opened the University of Worcester's new art house building.

The Duke took a tour of the building, speaking to dignitaries and viewing examples of artwork from students before officially unveiling the plaque commemorating the occasion.

Before the Duke's arrival, guests heard a speech by University vice chancellor and chief executive David Green CBE, in which he praised the efforts that had gone into funding, building and opening the art house.

In his speech, Mr Green said: "We are delighted to see so many people here today to celebrate the opening of the art house.

"We are especially grateful to Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council, without whom none of this would be possible.

"The university's values are learning, democracy and inclusion and we try to work in a very engaged way with the community to do things together."

Also in the speech, Mr Green revealed plans between the University, Worcestershire County Cricket Club and the English Cricket Board to build the only fully indoor cricket centre in the country behind the University Arena on Hylton Road.

Mayor of Worcester Jabba Riaz said it was an "honour and a privilege" to be at the unveiling, saying: "It is always an honour when we receive a visit from Royalty to Worcester. The Duke always refers to Worcester as 'his university'.

"This building is a major investment in Worcester and it is an example of what happens when City and County Council collaborate and what can be achieved when groups want to put back into the community.

"To be opening an arts building is a real bonus especially because the arts has taken a hammering in recent years.

"This opening shows that Worcester really means business when it comes to promoting the arts."

The building, which stands on Castle Street, was an Austin Motors showroom in the 1930s and the site on which it stands was once the County Gaol until the early 20th Century.