BUSINESSES are still waiting for a gate to be opened which would allow for an increase in footfall on their city centre strip.

Five months ago, Worcester News was told by a spokesman at the The Hive staff were ensuring “all appropriate measures are in place” before the gates in Netherton Court could be opened.

However, with the summer just around the corner, businesses – including The Arch Rivals pub and brewery and Fit3Sixty Rise fitness studio – are still suffering and say they have had no answers.

The businesses have largely all opened in the last two years in the old converted railway arches, owned by National Rail – while the area has been earmarked for future regeneration by the city council.

“All of us little businesses are providing jobs and we’re offering something different for Worcester but the people with the money don’t want to help,” said Mike Davis, owner of The Arch Rivals.

He said when he opened in September last year he was promised the gates would be opened before the end of the month.

“Since that story went out in December, I have had no official response from anybody. I’m down here on my own and people ask why the gates are closed every day and I have to tell them I don’t know.”

Rather than having direct access from The Hive, people wanting to get to the strip have to go to The Butts and back round creating confusion and preventing any passing trade.

John Clark, owner of Fit3Sixty, said: “We have far less drop-ins than our other site and far less people know that the business is there.”

In October last year, the city council announced its City Centre Masterplan, which aims to create a mixture of new homes, offices, restaurants, bars and shops – creating 8,000 more jobs and building 3,000 homes by 2040.

This included an initial £4.5million in grants.

“The Masterplan includes opening all this up right down to the river but you wouldn’t be able to access it because of the gate,” said Mr Davis. “We want to make it a really good venue down here but the people with the keys don’t want any part of it,” he added.

Rupert Davison, manager and head chef of Burger Shop, further up the strip in Cherry Tree Lane, said he has been told the area is subject to a three-year project and the powers that be are “working on” opening the gates. The Hive and city council did not provide comments.