TWO local businesses have been appointed to redesign and refurbish the city’s railway arches as part of a £4.5 million project to transform the area into a major business and creative hub.

KKE Architects, based in Diglis in Worcester, and structural engineering firm Shire, based in Bromsgrove, have been tasked with creating the new gateway linking Worcester Foregate Street, The Hive and the River Severn.

Worcester-based KKE Architects has already been involved in a number of major regeneration schemes for the city, including the Royal Porcelain Works, The Kiln co-working space and several refurbishment schemes for the University of Worcester. Local structural engineering firm Shire has worked extensively for the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust at prestigious sites including Blists Hill’s new Victorian Street, the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and the Jackfield Tile Museum.

Councillor Adrian Gregson, chairman of Worcester’s Cultural Development Fund Steering Group, the body which oversees the project, said: “We are pleased to announce the appointment of two local firms to breathe new life in to The Arches-Worcester.

“This ambitious £4.5-million initiative will provide a major boost to the city’s arts and culture offer, creating new space for small creative businesses and also funding a programme of exciting new festivals for Worcester.”

The city was handed a £3 million boost from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s cultural development fund, which is managed by Arts Council England, to help with the project.

The money will help pay for the design and construction of the work and creative spaces underneath eight of the Arches.

Four festivals are set to take place next year as part of the multi-million pound project.

The series of festival would kick off with several light-based art installations as part of a Festival of Light in January next year.

The festivals would be put on by the Worcester Cultural Partnership which is made up of Severn Arts, Worcester City Council, the University of Worcester, The Arch Company and Worcestershire County Council.

For more information, visit