Full business cases now submitted

Our fifteen transformational projects set to shape Hereford’s future as a high-skilled, creative, green city have taken a major step forward, with full business cases being submitted to the government last month.

The projects combine to form the successful £22.4m #StrongerHereford bid to the Town’s Fund.

They include a new, more social, more active vision for the riverside, pioneering education hubs in fast-growing industries like video game design and engineering, and investment in cultural venues that will drive tourism and provide communities with more flexible, inclusive, inspirational spaces.

Once the business cases are approved by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities – a decision will be returned by early Autumn – the full programme can proceed.

Among the projects set to transform life in the city is a scheme to increase activity and watersports in and around the river. Floating pontoons and other equipment will allow greater access to the river for watersports and events, while pop-up power points and an extended riverside cycle network will improve the infrastructure around one of the city’s greatest natural assets.

In a separate scheme, another riverside attraction will be redeveloped by the charity group Friends of Castle Green. The historic pavilion will be given a sensitive redesign to allow it to become an accessible community hub.

As well as providing a modern HQ for Hereford Canoe Club, the new-look pavilion will provide social spaces for the public, and the facilities required for more large-scale community events on the historic Castle Green.

Chair of #StrongerHereford, Abigail Appleton, said: “Hereford’s Town Investment Plan is distinctive for the range and ambition of our projects, many of which have been developed by small organisations. The submission of all 15 full business cases bang on time is testament to the determination fuelling this collaboration of community groups, volunteers from all walks of life, charity, business, city and county council,  to transform Hereford. This is an important milestone in our journey together and on behalf of the #Stronger Hereford Board I’d like to say thank you to everyone supporting these projects to get this far.”

Last month Herefordshire Council signed off on up to £8m to redevelop the current library building into a truly contemporary museum and art gallery, along with a roof garden that will provide biodiversity and panoramic views across the city’s cultural quarter.

Another project developed through #StrongerHereford, the new ultra-energy efficient redesign is projected to attract £2.5m to the local economy each year, and become a world-class cultural venue capable of hosting internationally-renowned art shows, and historic treasures like the Herefordshire Hoard.

As part of plans, the library will be relocated and reimagined in a new home at Maylord Orchard as a welcoming, vibrant, modern library that will bring new life and new people to the shopping centre.

This will be supported by an additional capital grant of £500k by the council’s cabinet, and will go ahead along with the other projects, subject to central government approval.

More information and images available on specific projects over the next few months will be available, as individual organisations continue to refine and develop their plans.

Chair of #StrongerHereford, Abigail Appleton, said:

Since becoming chair of the #Stronger Hereford Board, I’ve seen just how much passion, vision and sheer hard work has gone into developing the inspirational proposals outlined in our successful Town Investment Plan into the detailed and robust full business cases required by government before release of the grant.