ATTRACTIVE Victorian railway arches will be made into studios and offices for creative businesses.

Worcester City Council has approved a planning application and has given the go ahead for the redesign and refurbishment of five of Worcester’s arches in a step forward for the vision to create a new cultural quarter in the City.

The £4.5m project, which also includes four festivals this year and support for new start up creative businesses, known as The Arches – Worcester, is being carried out through a partnership between the University of Worcester, Worcester City Council, Severn Arts, The Arch Company and Worcestershire County Council.

David Broster, the University’s Head of the School of Arts, said: “We are delighted that the scheme has been given the go ahead by City planners and we can now start working towards making this all come together and creating something really special for the City and our arts community.”

Works on the Arches located between Foregate Street and The Hive is scheduled to start late summer 2020. It is anticipated works will be complete in early 2021.

This is one element of a wider masterplan for the area, which when completed will see a new foot and cycle path created which links Foregate Station to the River Severn, following the line of arches.

Earlier this year the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport awarded £3m from the Cultural Development Fund, which is administered by Arts Council England, to the project.