Hundreds of young people who are not in work were set a creative challenge over the summer, in a bid to unlock talent and inspire thoughts about starting a business or finding a job.

‘Live Brief’ was launched by the Arches Participate team – one of the partners involved in the refurbishment of five railway Arches in Worcester city centre to create new spaces for creative businesses.

Refurbishment has already started on the units – set for completion in Spring 2022 – which when finished will provide a focal point for the city’s creative businesses and communities.

Students at the Heart of Worcester College took part in the Live Brief, using all their creative skills to look at The Arches as a creative space and the concept of “the Arch” as an object in space.

The Participate team also set the same challenge to young people who are not in work or training, and to students at the University of Worcester. An exhibition was held to showcase the work created by the young people.

Alison Reeves, Deputy Head of the School of Arts at the University of Worcester, who chairs Arches Participate explains: “Our remit is to encourage young people to stay in Worcester after university or college, support them in opportunities to start their own business and encourage a thriving creative business community in the city.

“The Arches are a significant focal point, and a ground swell of interest has built up in anticipation of what they will bring to the city centre when they open as homes to creative businesses.

“The summer design brief project will continue to grow that interest, and we’re really looking forward to seeing what the young people produce.”

Later in the year workshops will support young people who want to set up their own businesses, making a connection between talented young creatives in the city and creative businesses in Worcester.

Exciting new roles for young people in the city, including internships and apprenticeships, have already been made by the Arches Festivals team.

Events apprentice Martha Henley is currently finishing up her apprenticeship with HoW College and said: “I feel I have developed my confidence and self-belief since working with the Arches Festivals. It has pushed me and allowed me to understand my capabilities, especially since taking on bigger projects and more responsibility. I really look forward to being a part of the future festivals we have coming up in the future. “

Producing intern Maria-Magdalena Mineva graduated from the University of Worcester and is involved in the technical production and logistics for various installations in Worcester this month. She said: “I’ve been leading on the organisation and production of the City Speaks project, as well as our working with our brilliant Graduate Commissions artists, who will be displaying their work in the city’s festivals.”

The latest addition to the Festivals team is marketing intern Talia Crouch-Damianovsky.  She is also a graduate of the University of Worcester and was one of the community performers in the Umbrella Project for Light Night Worcester 2020.

Talia said: “Light Night inspired me to think differently about art and entertainment in Worcester, and I jumped at the opportunity to become a part of the team that put on that amazing festival.”

The Festivals team is looking for more volunteers for Light Night in October and future events. Opportunities include speaking with the public and providing information about the artwork and programmes; surveying audiences or supporting marketing. For more information please visit