Worcester Revisit – A New Urban Space

It’s always satisfying to revisit a place and reacquaint oneself with a town or city that was the focus of intense study amidst an ambitious master planning commission. A visit is however often tinged with a mix of nervousness and anticipation to see what has been delivered (or not) on the back of a carefully crafted masterplan and so it was on an August afternoon I was able to finally call into Worcester to inspect one such project.

Back in 2012, DLA’s masterplan for Worcester City Centre identified an exciting opportunity to create a new urban space for the city, one which would provide a fitting backdrop to one of the city’s key assets – the Cathedral. Cathedral Plaza, as it was termed, was our suggestion to create a new urban space that could help establish not only a new destination but also accommodate a range of events as well as supporting the city’s retail and leisure economy.

In 2017, a new development brought about the transformation of the old Cathedral Plaza Shopping Centre, as well as completely removing a roundabout that had blighted the townscape for years. The £20million, 220,000sq.ft redevelopment was delivered through a joint venture between the Salmon Harvester Opportunity Fund, Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council and it was incredibly rewarding to see how a vision, that was being well used, had been translated into reality by a talented team backed by an ambitious public authority.