Today the government unveiled its Cultural Kickstart Fund which will help cultural organisations who have lost funding as a result of the pandemic and ensure major capital projects can go ahead as planned.

The Worcester Arches Project is one of 74 organisations receiving grants from government totalling £58.9million today. The regeneration of the historic arches in the city will be assisted by a grant of £145,915 to help turn them into a modern workspace for creative industries, and transport links that will help connect the city.

The wider scheme which amounts to around £4.5 million of investment is being delivered by Worcester Cultural Partnership, made up of Worcester City Council, the University of Worcester, Severn Arts, The Arch Company and Worcestershire County Council. Local MP Robin Walker has welcomed the additional funding announced today, stating that the investment has the potential to reinvigorate the area around the arches.

The Capital Kickstart grants programme helps organisations cover costs added to capital projects such as building works, refurbishments, and large-scale equipment purchases by pandemic-related delays or fundraising shortfalls.

The announcement follows a series of investments in Worcester cultural sites with Museums Worcester and Worcester Cathedral both receiving support from the fund earlier in the year.

Commenting, Robin said:
“To a historic city like Worcester our heritage and cultural assets are vitally important, and I am delighted that the government is taking protecting those sites seriously. A lot of cultural organisations have taken a hit as a result of the Covid pandemic so it is important that they are provided with the funding they need to continue the work they do.

“The Worcester Arches Project in particular will reinvigorate the iconic arches as well as the area around it, providing a pedestrian link from Foregate Street Station then on to the river. We have the opportunity to make this cultural site a real draw for people into the town, which will in turn support the businesses that are working to provide for them.

“I have worked alongside fellow Conservatives at Worcester City Council to highlight the importance of the Arches’ regeneration and today’s announcement is a clear signal that the government are listening.”

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden said:

“When the Culture Recovery Fund launched, I said I would not let the cultural sector down and I have kept my word with more than £1 billion now allocated to organisations who need it most.

“We have funded organisations of every size in all corners of the country, and now we are extending a huge helping hand to some of the country’s biggest cultural powerhouses to get them through the Covid crisis too.”