I HOPE all my constituents across Worcester had a good break over the Easter holiday.

Despite Parliament going into recess over the Easter period, there have been a number of positive announcements that will benefit Worcester in our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

I am delighted that the Culture Recovery Fund has been able to offer £1.66 million in support to Culture and heritage organisations in Worcester. It is important that organisations like Worcester Live, Worcester Cathedral, the English Symphony Orchestra, and all the other great local organisations that make up the fabric of our area continue to thrive after this pandemic and the help to keep Worcester’s strong cultural sector going could hardly be timelier.

I am all too aware of the challenges they have faced during the past year and this money will help towards ensuring the future of the heritage, arts, and culture sectors in my constituency and I will continue to fight to ensure they have the support they need to carry on contributing to our community.

I was also pleased to see Worcester receive £90,121 in funding under the new £56 million Welcome Back Fund, which will help councils prepare to reopen high streets as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

People across Worcester have been incredible in following the guidelines and staying at home but soon the conditions will allow us to return to some normality.

It is great to see local authorities getting access to Government support to start planning for reopening. It is more crucial than ever that we support our wonderful independent businesses as they do reopen.

The vaccination programme continues to roll out at a great pace in Worcestershire with more than 320,000 people receiving their first dose, which is 61 per cent of the over-16 population. Nationally, our vaccination programme continues to make exceptional progress - with over 37 million jabs administered so far and more than five million people having had their second dose.

I welcomed the Prime Minister’s comments when he stated earlier this week there is no question of people being asked to produce certification or a Covid-status report when they go to the shops or the pub garden or the hairdressers.

I recognise that some kind of certificate or extra passport might be required for international travel once that becomes possible again, but it is right that careful thought is given to whether it could also help large indoor events or other bigger gatherings.

Although we must remain cautious as we have seen rising cases across Europe, I hope that people will safely be able to support our fantastic local businesses that have come through such tough times throughout this pandemic.

I am certainly looking forward to the chance to get a much-needed haircut!