First glimpse of how arts quarter may look

By Rob George Thursday 20 December 2012 Updated: 21/12 09:05

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Buy photos » This image shows how one of the many proposed open spaces on the site could look. Image by KKE Architects

THESE images offer a first glimpse of how Worcester's proposed multi-million pound arts quarter could help transform the former site of the Royal Worcester Porcelain.

Architects KKE revealed the initial designs at a meeting for interested parties at the Worcester Porcelain Museum on Tuesday (December 18) but stressed the images were far from the finished article.

Philanthropist Colin Kinnear from the Bransford Trust joined Vincent Kirk from KKE Architects and Dr Martin Doughty from the University of Worcester for the evening which was described as a 'forum for ideas'.

More than 70 people from the arts and crafts in Worcester packed into the Severn Street museum to hear more about the project and share their own ideas.

Proposals for the site include workshops for artists, small independent shops to highlight the best Worcester has to offer, outdoor cafés, bars and performing arts venues for classic concerts and school showcases.

The Bransford Trust purchased the site and Mr Kinnear shared his vision for transforming one of the city's historic landmarks.

"We decided to have the meeting here because this is where the idea of doing something first took off in my mind," he told the audience.

"This project should help this area of Worcester come alive again but the ideas have to come from you the public as you are the ones that are going to make it a success."

Mr Kirk showed a video which contrasted the hustle and bustle of the city centre with the dormant former porcelain site.

He said the project aimed to retain as many of the original buildings as possible and it would provide a link between the Cathedral, canal, city centre and Diglis Basin.

"Its got to be special and somewhere where people will come to see artists and crafts people and buy their work," Mr Kirk said.

"It's viable, it's deliverable but how it feels when it opens is entirely down to you."

The initial designs received a warm response from many of those in attendance with one contributor describing the proposals as a 'mini Covent Garden'.

Dr Doughty said a planning application could be submitted to Worcester City Council in the spring with building work beginning towards the end of next year.

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