THE Ultimate Party Shop in Angel Place may seem a world away from the Kingsway English Centre in Foregate Street but these thriving businesses both play a vital part in the success of this city.

It’s why the Worcester Business Improvement District (BID) is supporting them with its Uniquely Worcester campaign, highlighting the city’s 300+ independent shops, cafés, bars, restaurants and professional services.

Adrian Field, BID Manager, said: “We support the value of businesses working together for the greater good. Backing the independents keeps the city vibrant and individual, which draws more people into Worcester and ensures the whole city is buzzing.”

The BID’s mandate is now up for renewal with businesses to vote on its future in November. A yes vote promises more improvements over the next five years including plans to reduce gulls, introduce cardboard recycling and encourage more pop-up shops in empty units.

One business set to benefit is the Ultimate Party Shop, a one stop party shop. Sue Clingan set it up with her sisters after struggling to source a fancy dress outfit. She said: “We try to do something that is different, a bit more unusual. You don’t want to turn up at a party and have the same costume as everyone else.”

She believes that ethos is true of the city too. She said: “I enjoy shopping in Worcester because it’s individual. You won’t know what you are going to find until you get here. There’s more choice.”

Rick and Sue Johns set up the Kingsway English Centre in 1988 and it now attracts around 350 overseas visitors who study English and enjoy the city’s sights.

Mr Johns, director, said: “The British High Street is starting to look more and more the same these days. The more independent businesses we can encourage, the more interest it brings to the city. I’ve always been enthusiastic about Worcester BID. I’m a keen supporter because the majority of the things they do really improve the city for the better.”

A free book, Uniquely Yours, which showcases the independents of Worcester, is available this week at businesses across the city centre.

Keep up-to-date with local tips and offers by following @UniquelyWorc or