"PLEASE support us this Christmas" - that is the plea from city centre traders who have been blocked off by roadworks outside an unsafe building.

It should be the busiest time of the year with Christmas trade picking up but businesses have been dealt a devastating blow with the closure of a section of Broad Street on Friday evening.

An emergency road closure was put in place outside Poundland, leased by Crown Estates, after contractors warned it was at risk of partial collapse.

Footfall has fallen dramatically since the closure but spirited traders are making an impassioned plea for Christmas shoppers to visit them.

Tim Evans from Toys and Games of Worcester said it was mainly independent traders down that section of Broad Street.

Worcester News: Tim Evans, Toys and Games of WorcesterTim Evans, Toys and Games of Worcester

"When the road was being closed I was speechless, you couldn't make it up.

"I couldn't believe what we were seeing just before one of the most vital Christmas Saturdays.

"I estimate with a partial closure I would say we would lose 30 per cent trade but if there is a total closure that would be harsh and probably around 85 per cent reduction.

"Just come and see us - it's important we look after local retailers.

"Retailers need Christmas and retailers need their customers too."

Next door, Andrew Connellan of Connect 2 Vapes said: "It is coming up to our busiest trading period and with the Victorian Fayre imminent.

Worcester News:

"If the street were to be closed, it would be devastating to my shop and my valued customers.

"They have had months to secure the building, and as I understand it we can’t claim any compensation for lost trade so it’s possible we could be the largest losers from this through no fault of our own."

Nigel Mee, Rohan franchise owner, said there had been a dramatic drop in footfall.

"It's blocking us off from the rest of the world and it's not exactly pretty.

"We'd ask people to take the trouble to come along and visit the bottom end of Broad Street."

Shoppers can reach the businesses through Crowngate or by coming from Deansway. Currently, there is space in the barriers on Broad Street for people to pass through.

December is the busiest time of year for New England Country Store which has a popular Christmas section.

Owner Rachael Evans said: "We were doing really well until Friday afternoon.

Worcester News:

"We really need our Christmas trade especially after last year."

With party season upon us, Barbers @ 49 would usually be busy with people getting their hair cut.

But owner Mahbi Khivir says that the closure has dramatically affected the number of customers they have had.

"We are quiet at the moment because of this. We should be very busy because of Christmas parties and people needing their hair done.

"Some people don't know we're open and don't know they can come down the road.

"People are confused."

John Shore, shop assistant at Knowles Travel Goods said trade was down on the previous Monday.

Worcester News: John Shore, shop assistant at Knowles Travel GoodsJohn Shore, shop assistant at Knowles Travel Goods

"People look down from The Cross and see the scaffolding and barriers and go towards the bus station instead.

"We would just appeal to people to make the effort and come and visit the shops."

Poundland has been shut since about May while work has gone on in the building with the latest emergency working closing CrownGate's Unicorn Walk again.

A spokesman for The Crown Estate said: “Due to some urgent works that need to be undertaken at one of our properties around the CrownGate Shopping Centre, it has been necessary to introduce a temporary closure of Unicorn Walk.

We are working to re-open the area as soon as possible.

We apologise for any disruption, but safety is our immediate priority and we are working closely with the affected businesses throughout.”