MILLIONS of pounds have been awarded to the city to build a new medical school and cycling bridge and transform a railway station.

Almost five million pounds has been granted to various projects including a plan by the University of Worcester to build a new medical training facility and inclusive cricket centre next to the city’s riverside.

Money will come from the Government’s Getting Building Fund and will also pay for development plans to transform Worcester Shrub Hill railway station and the surrounding area, and provide £1million towards the building of a new walking and cycling bridge between Gheluvelt Park and the old Kepax landfill site.

Funding has also been awarded to install superfast fibre broadband in the city centre.

The biggest amount awarded was the £3million to the University of Worcester for its plan to build a medical school training doctors, nurses, nursing apprentices as well as other health professionals.

The teaching facilities would be built on the site of Berrows House, former home of the Worcester News, which was bought by the university earlier this year.

An inclusive cricket education centre, available to players of all abilities and disabilities, will also be built next to the medical school.

Professor David Green CBE, the university's vice chancellor and chief executive, said: “We are very grateful to the Worcestershire Local Economic Partnership and Government for this positive investment.

"We are deeply committed to growing and developing the outstanding health workforce that our city and region so badly needs.

"The redevelopment of the former Worcester News building will provide community as well as educational facilities and this will be theme of the development of the Severn Campus which will have inclusion of the local community and well-being at its heart. Much of this work will be permitted development and we will let the contracts as quickly as possible, providing much needed construction jobs to help our local citizens and the economy recover from the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Councillor Marc Bayliss, leader of Worcester City Council, said: “The proposed Kepax Bridge would be a significant addition to our city, providing a real incentive for residents and visitors to walk and cycle more, and I am pleased that the Government is backing this great initiative.

“The bridge would create a new east-west route across the city, reduce levels of congestion and improve both safety and air quality. It would also provide people with new ways of exploring and enjoying Worcester’s greatest natural asset, the River Severn.”

Around £850,000 has been allocated for the city’s Shrub Hill area which will boost plans to redevelop the railway station as well as help buy land for surrounding developments.

The city council’s masterplan, which was adopted last summer, shows ambitions for a ‘gateway’ Shrub Hill with a new plaza in front of the railway station, offices, multi-storey car park, shops and retail space as well as apartments.

Around £500,000 will help bring full fibre broadband to Worcester city centre boosting businesses. Worcestershire LEP said the money will allow the city and eventually more of the county to be covered by full fibre broadband.

Despite work in recent years, just under six per cent of Worcestershire has been covered so far compared to the rapidly growing natural figure of around 15 per cent.

Gary Woodman, chief executive of Worcestershire LEP, which has been the driving force behind many of the projects, said: “We are very excited to see this new funding confirmed by Government. Worcestershire is set to receive £12million for a range of projects designed to stimulate growth and get the local economy back on track.

“Worcestershire is a key economy within the Midlands and this support from Government further emphasises that.

“We are looking forward to working with our partners across the county on these projects as we continue Worcestershire’s development towards our vision of a connected, creative, dynamic economy for all.”

Cllr Ken Pollock, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure at Worcestershire County Council, said the millions would help the county’s economy get back on its feet.

“The additional £12m investment into the county will make a big difference,” he said and with a large portion of it allocated to schemes we’re delivering as a county council, it will allow us to push forward in ensuring these schemes help the economy get back on its feet.”