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Vision of Worcester in 2021
AMBITIOUS proposals to revamp the whole of Worcester city centre have gone on display - in the hope it can attract millions of fresh investment.
Worcester Civic Society has published a raft of images showing the kind of city it wants to see by 2021.
An exhibition, which is currently being staged at the Guildhall, lifts a lid on where it wants Worcester to go.
- Demolishing the notorious Elgar House by Shrub Hill Railway station to replace it with a landmark hotel, stylish office block or new homes
- Creating a new 'shared space' on the site of the Cornmarket car park, based around a major pavilion including a tourism centre, an enterprise facility for business and recreational land for families
- Designing a new-look Cathedral square based around London's Leicester Square with grassed areas, benches, soft landscaping, a small fountain and a stage for musicians to perform
- Markings for cyclists on all city centre routes, but bigger car parks in King Street and Commandery Road to encourage people to visit the Cathedral, museum and riverside for those still looking to drive
- Re-directing some city centre traffic and better connecting some routes to ease congestion, including making Sansome Street two lanes again to create a clockwise 'inner' ring-road formed around The Butts, Sansome St, City Walls Road and Deansway
The civic society, a registered charity, enlisted the help of Worcester-based Glazzard Architects to create the drawings.
The success of each one coming off will depend on private sector investors being tempted to make them a reality, as well as the likes of Worcestershire County Council and city council planners.
Elgar House, a privately-owned 1960s seven-storey office, was named Worcester's ugliest building two years ago.
Talk of demolishing it has been around for years and appeared to be on the cards in 2009 when Stephen Taylor Architects revealed plans to replace it with 60 flats, shops and offices.
But it never got off the ground and the fresh drawings are aimed at highlighting the area's potential.
Cathedral Plaza is now owned by the Salmon Harvester Opportunity Fund, which has unveiled proposals to revamp the site, creating 100 jobs.
It includes new shops, seven new restaurants, a gym and foodstore overlooking a piazza, with an opening target of 2016 subject to planning approval.
The 85-space Cornmarket car park, along with the crumbling Trinity House building next to it, is up for sale in a joint Worcester City Council/county council project.
The civic society says it has published the images and its report "for discussion purposes", insisting the ideas would "greatly enhance" Worcester.
Worcester MP Robin Walker said: "There's some very interesting ideas, with the Shrub Hill proposals in particular it would be great if we could demolish Elgar House."
The exhibition runs until Friday, July 4 inside the Guildhall reception and a detailed report can be found at worcestercivicsociety.org.uk under the 'projects' section.
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