Walker hosts Cities & Universities Minister visit to Worcester


Worcester’s Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, Robin Walker, who served on the BIS

Select Committee through much of the last Parliament; today welcomed the Cities and

Universities Minister, Greg Clark to the city to visit the University of Worcester.


The University of Worcester extended the invitation to the Minister to visit after hearing him

address the annual conference of the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the

Royal Society Debate on Science. Both of these contributions convinced the Vice-Chancellor of

the University that the Minister would find the innovations that they have made in the last five

years of interest, and so he asked Robin to invite him to visit.


The last five years have seen great changes for the University of Worcester. It has completed

the Hive, which is the first University and Public Library partnership in Europe. The project has

been hailed as a success for opening both learning and research opportunities to the general

public, as well as being the host for the Worcestershire Hub for Council enquiries. It is an

excellent example of a shared service which brings benefits to Worcester City, the whole

County and the University.


Additionally, the University has developed a major centre for research and training for those

who suffer with dementia. As an organisation already noted for its excellent nursing training, this

was a natural progression for them. The centre is led by Dr. Dawn Brooker and will be marking

its sixth anniversary on 14th May 2015. During the visit the group were able to pop into Charles

Hastings House, part of the University’s City campus, where the British Medical Association was

first founded and where the University Business School is now based.


Following the visit to the City Campus they crossed the river to visit the Worcester Arena, which

has become a well-known local sports venue over the last 18 months and is the first major UK

sports venue to be specifically designed to cater for the needs of the wheelchair athlete. The

Arena is fast becoming the country’s major centre for work in this important field and already

hosts the Team GB wheelchair basketball team, national netball and basketball events as well

as providing a home for the Worcester Wolves Basketball Team. During the visit they discussed

with Professor Green and Head of Sport Mick Donovan the vision to make Worcester an

international centre for accessible sport.


Commenting on the visit, Robin said:

“I was delighted to be able to welcome the Universities Minister to see the wonderful

developments that have happened in Worcester over the last five years. We have one of the

fastest growing universities in the UK here in Worcester and I am proud of how it has innovated,

worked in partnership and contributed to regeneration during my time as MP. It has been a

pleasure to speak up in Parliament on the progress of the Hive, the Arena and the success of

our university in supporting graduate employment. It is also wonderful to see the regeneration

that has been delivered through the investments by well-funded local university.”


“The University is developing a reputation for excellence in dealing with important issues such

as dementia care and providing real sporting opportunities for the wheelchair athlete. These can

only add to Worcester’s appeal to students from outside of the local area. This is as well as

providing opportunities for those in the city to both access first class facilities as learners and

through opening those facilities up to the wider community, such as is the case with the Hive. I

am particularly excited about the potential to make our city an international centre for accessible

sport. This can only add weight to Worcester’s application to be a ‘City of Culture.”




Notes to Editors

About Robin Walker:

Robin Walker was first elected to Parliament in 2010 and is currently standing as the

Conservative Party Candidate for the seat. During his term in Parliament, he served on the

Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee and spoke up for access for Disabled

Students to receive adequate financial support to attend University. You can see a transcript of

Robin’s submissions at questions 24 to 26, which are here:



Robin also reported the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport bringing the

cheque from ‘Sport England’ to start the work on the Worcester arena in his press release here:



Robin also attended a one-off evidence session about ‘Business-University collaboration. A

transcript can be found here:


His intervention outlining the importance of collaboration between business and higher

education institutions, is here:



Which is also in his press release here:



In Parliament, he has regularly spoken up in support of the University and on matters relating to

access to Higher Education in general including on ensuring part-time students could access

opportunities after the changes to tuition fees, which are linked below:





More information about Robin, his campaign for the 2015 election, and his work in Parliament

during the 2010-15 session can be found at: www.walker4worcester.com or by contacting him

on: 07946 546933 / robin@walker4worcester.com. He is on Twitter: @WalkerWorcester

About Greg Clark:

A link to the Minister’s speech to the Higher Education Funding Council for England can be

found here:


Details of the Royal Society Debate on Science event can be found here:

2015 cross-party Science Ministers’ debate

About the University of Worcester:

More information about the University of Worcester can be found at:


Information on the Dementia Studies Centre can be found here:


Links for each of the stops on the Minister’s tour can be found here:

The Hive http://www.thehiveworcester.org/

Worcester Arena http://www.worcester.ac.uk/your-home/worcester-arena.html

For press enquiries, contact Sally Jones on: 01905 857511 or at: s.jones@worc.ac.uk