THIS is the first look at how a multi-million-pound regeneration scheme could transform a rundown, crime-ridden corner of Worcester city centre.

The artist’s impressions show for the first time how Angel Place in Worcester city centre could look as part of an incredible transformation of the area.

Worcester’s historic Scala Theatre will be converted into a new arts venue and the former Co-op building in Angel Street will undergo a major and much-needed transformation into a food hall and rooftop garden.

Worcester city councillors agreed to move ahead with the purchase of the grade II-listed Scala Theatre in Angel Place at a meeting on Tuesday (June 8).

Slide across to see how Angel Street looks now compared to how it may look in the future:

City council leader Marc Bayliss said buying the Scala was an important step forward in transforming the area around Angel Place.

“This is really exciting,” he told the policy and resources committee during a meeting at the Guildhall on Tuesday.

“In terms of moving this project forward, the acquisition of the Scala really makes it possible to see the regeneration of that part of the city and, together with the public realm works, it really gives us a fantastic opportunity to improve an area of the city centre which is far from the best at the moment.

“I think these moves might be incremental but they are important for us to do. This is an important step forward.”

The move to buy the Scala Theatre comes after the council was successful in its almost £18 million bid to the government’s Future High Streets Fund for several projects including transforming the almost 100-year-old former cinema into an arts, theatre and music venue.

The building is currently home to Shipleys Amusement Centre, which will move to a new location in the city once the deal is finalised.

Slide here to see how the Scala Theatre looks now compared to how it will look in the future:

The cost of buying the Scala was discussed in private by councillors but Shane Flynn, the council’s director for finance, said the cost was “within the budget including contingencies” and “in line” with the cost of using compulsory purchase powers which the council had said it would use if necessary.

The council has already bought the neighbouring grade II-listed Corn Exchange building in Crown Passage which, along with the Scala Theatre, will be converted into a new 450-to-500-seat venue.

The successful bid for government funding means the area around Angel Street and Angel Place, The Foregate, The Cross and Trinity Street would be completely regenerated to create an ‘urban neighbourhood’ focusing on new shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, a new performance and arts venue and other cultural facilities, some family-friendly attractions as well as housing and office space transforming it into a ‘destination’ for young people and families.

The work will cost around £29 million with the city council and other local partners putting forward £11 million alongside the government money.

It was announced on Tuesday that Worcester will be awarded almost £20 million to regenerate several parts of the city including the tired Shrub Hill area, a new medical centre on the banks of the River Severn, hundreds of new homes and a new 'Building Block' training centre in Dines Green.