Worcester City Mayor, Councillor Adrian Gregson, has highlighted the University of Worcester’s important role in the City on a recent visit.
Cllr Adrian Gregson described it as an “anchor institution” for Worcester after touring the University campuses and hearing about recent developments from Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green CBE DL. The tour included the Art House, nursing training and simulation facilities, and The Infirmary museum at the University’s City Campus.
“I see it as being one of the anchor institutions working for the development of the City and County,” said Cllr Gregson. “It’s an extremely important partner with a number of others because they can provide a voice in a whole range of places where we can’t as a council. Obviously there’s a significant population that’s attached to it that’s of vital interest to us, and the relationship with residents and range of businesses that students and staff are involved in and engaged with, including the community work that I know goes on. I think the opportunity is two ways. I think we have an expectation as a council - we like to be able to turn to our partners and stakeholders to commit to things for the greater good of the City and the University is clearly on that list.”
Cllr Gregson’s tour of the University also included the new Centre for Health and Wellbeing currently being developed, which will include the University’s Three Counties Medical School. “That’s going to be a great asset to not just the City but the region,” he said. “The whole development of that estate and the way it will enhance the physical environment is going to be really exciting - the way it sits there by the river and is a real feature of the City scape now.
“It will prove I think an opportunity for people to be able to study without needing to go to Birmingham or Bristol. It’s an economic asset in the sense that it will bring in more students, it will bring in more people who will fully appreciate the City and what it can offer.
“It’s just another example of the way in which the University and the council and private sector can work together to improve the City. Our aim as a council is about making people appreciate Worcester, about inward investment, visitors, the riverside and culture and heritage that we have got and celebrating that, and the economic input to that is a vital element.
He continued: “One of the things that makes Worcester interesting as a place is that at one end of the river you have got the Cathedral and the historic heart and at the other end you have got the modern, with The Hive, the Arena, the Health and Wellbeing building. We’re a small City, you can get from one side to the other in 20 minutes if you’re walking quickly. To be able to have the foresight and planning and support and vision to put all that into such a small area and make it work is a demonstration of how we do work in partnership.”
Cllr Gregson was also impressed with the University’s Nursing and Allied Health facilities, which include Ability House – a fully functioning ‘house’ where students can simulate the community care environment that they might find themselves in – describing it as “really interesting and innovative”. “The University has got a tradition of working in health, but it’s adapting to change and keeping up, giving that education in real life situations so that students can work well out in the real world,” he added.
He said it was good to see the Art House, the University’s arts facility, in action after attending its opening in 2018. “The opportunity for engagement with the local community, for exhibition space, that’s a really good thing and it’s an opportunity we need to do more with,” he said.