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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Where can I find grant funding for my business?

    Whether you are looking to launch a start-up, expand your current business or make your operations more resource efficient, you will most likely require some financial support.

    Information about direct financial support offered by us is available on our business funding and support page.

    You can also find out about other funding opportunities, as well as other types of support, by visiting the Worcestershire Growth Hub website, by calling 01905 677 888 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Can I access my Business Rates account?

    Our Open Portal gives you instant online access to manage and view your Business Rates account.

    Sign into your Open Portal account

    Using Open Portal can save you time, effort and money. There is no need for you to visit us, ring us or write to us - you can view and manage your account or claim online at a time that suits you.

    Find out more information about Open Portal

  • How is my Business Rates bill calculated?

    Once the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has set your Rateable Value, we then multiply it by either:

    The standard non-domestic rating multiplier which is 51.2p. This applies to properties with a Rateable Value of more than £51,000.

    OR

    The small business multiplier which is 49.9p. This applies to all occupied properties not entitled to a mandatory rate relief and with a Rateable Value of less than £51,000.

    We then apply any discounts – known as rate reliefs – you may be entitled to, and this gives you your final bill.

    For example, if a property has a Rateable Value of £100,000, it won’t qualify for small business rate relief, so we would use the standard non-domestic multiplier which is 51.2p.

    We multiply £100,000 by 51.2p to give us £51,200. The property doesn’t quality for any discounts so the total amount due for 2023/24 would be £51,200.

    The Rateable Value, the multiplier being used and any discounts applied are all shown on your bill.

  • What is a Rateable Value?

    The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is responsible for giving each business property in England a Rateable Value.

    The Rateable Value for your property is an estimate of what it would cost to rent your business premises for a year on a valuation date set by law. Currently all Rateable Values are calculated as if the property was being rented on 1 April 2021.

    We use your Rateable Value to work out how much you need to pay in Business Rates.

  • What do I do if I think the Rateable Value for my business is wrong?

    If the details of your property have changed or you believe your Rateable Value is too high, then you should tell the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

    You can do this yourself or you can appoint an agent to do it for you.

    A step-by-step guide to challenging your Business Rates valuation can be found on the Government’s website.

    Please do not contact us about issues with your Rateable Value as we are unfortunately unable to help.



Business News


Business Newsletter

The Regeneration Team produce a regular newsletter including updates on a variety of items including the latest activity, recent news, funding opportunities, networking events, important changes and other relevant communications.

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Read more …Business

Evesham Ambassador Programme

In this section you will find the following information:

In this section

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Thank you for your interest in the Evesham Ambassador Programme.

We know Evesham is a place where people roll up their sleeves and make things happen. Growing things is what we are famous for whether that’s growing Vale of Evesham Asparagus, growing events that attract 30,000 visitors to learn about the history of our area or growing multi-million-pound businesses on our technology park.

Evesham Needs You!

  • Do what you can to champion the town
  • Act as an ambassador by using words and images that promote Evesham positively
  • Sign up to the ambassador programme mailing list so we can keep in touch
  • Like and follow the Evesham Place Board on Facebook
  • Share positive news stories about Evesham using the hashtag #LoveEvesham
  • Help to shape a place brand for Evesham so people recognise our town

Evesham Place Board in partnership with Wychavon District Council launched the Evesham Ambassador programme at a breakfast meeting on the 24th May 2024 at Evesham Football Club. The event was an opportunity to hear more about the projects the place board have been working on, discuss the many positives of the town and reflected on its challenges. We were joined by some fantastic speakers on our inward investment discussion panel.

Programme for the morning

Opening Speech
Shawn Riley, Head of Economic Development at Wychavon District Council

Intoduction to the Place Board and Town Centre Prospectus
Tom Tarver, Chair of Evesham Place Board

Investment Discussion Panel
Lorna Robinson - Visitor Economy and Destination Manager at Visit Worcestershire
Matt Charnock - Senior Land Director at Bloor Homes
Alan Walsh - Chairman Walsh Mushrooms
Jon Fraser – Worcestershire Highways
Ian Edwards – Director of Economy and Environment Wychavon District Council

Short Film
Jon Till, Thinking Place

Closing Remarks
Tom Tarver

We want to continue to attract investment to the Vale of Evesham so the area can keep growing. This is why we commissioned Evesham Town Centre Prospectus to create a vision to work towards. It looks at the positioning of Evesham within Worcestershire and the West Midlands from a commercial perspective, suggests key sites for development and looks at the layout of the town to see how it could better support active travel. It showcases the key strengths and unique selling points of the town that can be built upon to encourage people to want to visit, live and work in Evesham.

Evesham Ambassador programme will connect together all of the people that want the Vale of Evesham to thrive. We need those people that are willing to make a commitment to use their existing platform to promote all of the positives of the area and inspire others to be a part of overcoming the challenges we all face.

Sign up to the Evesham Ambassador mailing list.

Read more …Evesham Ambassador Programme

Evesham Place Board

Wychavon District Council has recently helped to set up the Evesham Place Board. The board is made up of local businesses, civic and community organisations, event organisers and political representatives. The Evesham place board supports various projects around the town that contribute towards the 20-year vision set out in the recently published town centre prospectus. The prospectus will help to secure future investment from both the private and public sector.

What have the place board been working on?

The Evesham place board had their first meeting in September 2022 and have been meeting bi-monthly since then. They have been making recommendations to Wychavon for projects to support with funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund part of the governments Levelling Up agenda. A list of projects are below which will be updated periodically.

We’ve launched a Business Front Improvement Grant where properties in High Street, Vine Street and Merstow Green can apply for between £500 and £10,000 to improve their business frontage.

We commissioned a mural for 41-43 High Street which has been vacant for some time. The mural tells various stories from Evesham’s history using humour and fantasy. Read a press article on the project.

We recommended funding to be allocated towards installing solar path lighting in Abbey Park, Evesham as part of the Enlighten Evesham creative lighting trail. This will make the park a more pleasant space to walk through in the evening and support active travel. Read a press article on the project.

We recently launched the Evesham Ambassador programme which will bring together all of the people working hard to improve the town to share good news, challenge negativity and discuss how we can work together to improve the town.

We distributed a ‘What’s On in Evesham and the Vale 2023’ flyer with over 50 local events to over 22,000 households in the WR11 postcode.

We recommended funding the Brass Bands in the Park programme, featuring 12 performances over the Summer 2023, it was the first time bands were back in the park since before the pandemic.

We commissioned 100 flags to be put up around the town for the Coronation of King Charles and then also 100 Baron’s flags ready for the Battle of Evesham.

We ran a social media campaign promoting the opportunity to come to Evesham to try Vale of Evesham Asparagus which had a reach 324,386 people across Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire.

We’ve commissioned a contractor to refurbish all of the noticeboards around the town and bring them back into regular use.

We’ve recommended some funding is committed to match fund getting the churchyard gate pillar fixed at All Saints Churchyard.

We’ve supported Wychavon to commission an accessibility audit of the public realm in the town centre.

We recently launched the Evesham Ambassador programme which will bring together all of the people working hard to improve the town to share good news, challenge negativity and discuss how we can work together to improve the town.

We sent out a survey to town centre businesses so we can better understand some of their challenges and aspirations and how these could align with the strategic objectives for the town set out in the prospectus.

We recommended a grant was given to Evesham Town Council to purchase additional Christmas lights for Market Square.

We backed a contribution being made towards commissioning a feasibility study for a battlefield centre on Green Hill.

We recommended a grant to pay for lighting for the Evesham Artisan Christmas Fayre in 2023.

What’s planned for the future?

We are looking at how we can support the development and promotion of active travel within the town.

We would like to develop a place brand for Evesham that all local businesses and organisations can use so when we are promoting ourselves to potential visitors, investors or anyone else we are giving a clear message of what Evesham offers.

Depending on the success of the business front improvement grant we may recommend further funding towards this.

We will be supporting the action plan coming out of the accessibility audits and are particularly interested in improving signage, interpretation and wayfaring around the town.

We are bringing together all of the people making things happen on or around the River Avon in Evesham so we can all work together to develop an action plan to make the most of the river setting.

Who’s on the Place Board?

Tom Tarver portrait

Place Board Chair
Tom Tarver – Director at Johnsons Property Consultants

Having grown up locally and built a business in the town over many years, I am firmly rooted in The Vale and keen to see Evesham reach its true potential. The recent Investment Prospectus’ shares an exciting vision for our town’s future, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to influence its continued success, as a member and Chair of the Evesham Place Board.

 

Jack Hegarty portrait

Jack Hegarty – Chair of Avon Navigation Trust

The Avon Navigation Trust is delighted to be represented on the Place Board to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by the River Avon. The riverfront and surrounding area are part of the town’s unique character.




Mick Hurst – Founder and Director of the Battle of Evesham suite of events

I have owned and managed an Evesham-based, award-winning, digital and design business for over 23 years. I will bring to the board these skills combined with in depth knowledge of the town’s history and heritage. This will bring more footfall into the town and over time develop a robust tourism economy. I’m also the Founder and Director of the Battle of Evesham suite of events, which continues to bring many thousands of visitors to the Evesham area.

Ashleigh Jayes portrait

Ashleigh Jayes – Manager of the Almonry Museum and Evesham Tourist Information Centre 

Evesham is a wonderful place to live and work.  We’re so lucky to have so much green space, a rich history and a passionate community. I see the place board as an integral part of our town’s future. By supporting local initiatives, working with business, organisations, local authorities and communities we can make Evesham an even better place to live, work and visit.


Phil Maclean portrait

Phil Maclean – Marketing Director at Eagle One Ltd encompassing The Valley, Evesham

After spending almost nine years in Evesham, I've developed an affection for both the town and its residents. I'm delighted that I have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution and am motivated to see the town grow. My background includes experience in destination marketing and tourism across a number of high footfall retail outlets.

 

Julian Meredith portrait

Julian Meredith – Managing Director of Chase Commercial Ltd

Running a business situated in Evesham and as a local resident in Wychavon, I am keen to see Evesham town centre reach its full potential and take full advantage of its wonderful natural and historic assets.




Gill Pawson portrait

Gill Pawson – Chair of Vale of Evesham Civic Society

The Vale of Evesham Civic Society was invited to send a representative to the place board; as Chair I am very pleased to be able to attend meetings and to contribute to the work of the board. VECS was invited as a stakeholder given its work over recent years to try to improve the town centre Conservation Area; this work fits well with the aims of the Evesham Town Centre Prospectus, which the board is charged with helping to deliver.


Robin Walker portrait

Robin Walker – Chair of Active Evesham

I was heavily involved in the development of the Evesham Town Plan, leading the Transport and Environment group. I was then co-opted onto the Wychavon Town Centres Advisory Panel, who commissioned the development of the Investment Prospectuses for Evesham, Pershore and Droitwich. By representing the 'Active Evesham' group on the Evesham Place Board, I will champion the strategic objective to get ‘Evesham recognised as a town that welcomes walkers and cyclists’. Providing an attractive and safe environment to enable active travel to become the first choice for everyday journeys in and around town.

Julie Tucker portrait

Julie Tucker – Cllr Wychavon District and Evesham Town Council and Chair of the Evesham Town Plan Committee

I am an Evesham Town and District Councillor, Chair of Evesham Walkers are Welcome and Evesham Anti-litter Group. I have lived in Evesham all my life. I sit on the Evesham Place Board because I am Chair of Evesham Town Council's Town Plan Committee. I have been a member of that committee since 2017.

 

Robert Raphael portrait

Robert Raphael – Cllr Wychavon District and Evesham Town Councils and Proprietor Hampton Ferry, Evesham.

Evesham is a great place to live, work and visit.  We are so fortunate to have so much within our town and to have access to so much more in the near location. Evesham needs to be a vibrant, exciting and welcoming community for its residents and visitors alike. As a councillor, and resident of Evesham, I want Evesham to thrive and prosper. As a tourism-based business owner, I know how much we have to offer.

 

Katie Gilbert – Founder and Business Development Manager Evesham Noticeboard Katie Gilbert portrait

For the last 30 years I have supported many business owners through my marketing and social media platforms to grow online and within the community. My mission through our popular Facebook groups, business networking events and Love Evesham Day is to have a positive impact online and in person for all members of the community. To showcase our town, businesses, and community as the heart of Worcestershire. Through “keep it local” and “Love Evesham” campaigns, The Vale Matters Podcasts and feel good e-newsletters we are showing how rich our town is in business and community spirit.

 

Where can I find out more information?

Please see attached document Terms of Reference (30 KB) for the Evesham Place Board. You can find a meeting summary for each of our meetings here and we’ll update the website with new projects when they are completed.

Link to meeting summary doc for each of the meetings.

How do I get in touch with the Evesham Place Board?

In the first instance please contact Caroline Tredwell, Place Project Officer for Evesham This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07929 779 808.

Droitwich Spa Place Board

Droitwich Spa Place Board has been created to help deliver the vision and strategic objectives of Droitwich Spa 's Investment Prospectus.

The board is independent of Wychavon but is accountable to our Executive Board.

It operates on an impartial and non-political basis to research, consider and make recommendations to Wychavon and other bodies, as appropriate, in order to further improve Droitwich Spa.

The Place Board is made up of people with a passion for their place from the business and community sectors. All members are volunteers and have been chosen because of their knowledge and professional backgrounds.

Current projects

The board is committed to keeping the public informed about their work. Below is a list of projects Droitwich Spa Place Board is currently looking at:

  • Enhancing Droitwich Spa Lido.
  • Improving the canal tow path between Vines Park and Salwarpe.
  • Installing street art throughout the town centre.
  • Hosting a Bike Night event for motorcyclists with Droitwich Spa Town Council.
  • Installing solar lighting in Lido Park and Vines Park.

Completed projects

  • Suspended permanent festoon lighting and flower garlands above the high street.
  • Launched a Business Front Improvement Grant (this grant scheme has now closed an applications are being assessed.)
  •  

Members

Matt Nicol portraitMatt Nicol (Chairman)

Matt has been part of the town’s community for more than 25 years. As owner of Nicol & Co estate agents, he spends a lot of time listening to people moving in or around the area. Matt believes that this has given him a good understanding of where the challenges and opportunities lie for the future of Droitwich Spa. He joined the Place Board because he was impressed by the positive conversations going on and the passion and desire for the town from those already involved and believes he can add value to this.

 

Gemma RanfordGemma Ranford

Gemma is the council’s Place Projects Officer for Droitwich Spa. Her job is to support the place board to further enhance the town. This involves working on projects ranging from tourism campaigns and place-making initiatives to physical regeneration and business support. As well as assisting the board, Gemma helps local events and groups such as St Richard’s Canal Festival and Droitwich Spa Business Association. One of her creations is the Droitwich in Bloom Trail.

Gemma has experience in managing social media, advertising, blog-writing, and photography. She previously worked in the Communications team at Wychavon before moving to Regeneration during Covid-19, where she supported businesses in Broadway, Droitwich Spa, Evesham and Pershore through promotional campaigns.

John Dillon portraitJohn Dillon

John Dillon is the Managing Director of GJS Dillon Commercial Property Consultants. He is a qualified Charted Surveyor, and a current Board Member of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

John has extensive contacts in the construction and business community in around the Droitwich area and has had considerable experience co-ordinating complex commercial and development projects over the last 30 years in Worcestershire.

Richard Morris portraitRichard Morris

Richard spent 26 years in the private sector covering various senior marketing positions, and 15 years in higher education as head of A levels and as a lecturer in business and research.

Richard has extensive experience in the public sector having been a Town Councillor since 1999 and District and County Councillor. His roles have included: Mayor of Droitwich Spa, Chairman of Wychavon, Deputy Leader & Executive Portfolio Holder for Communities, Housing and Economy during my time. He is currently the Cabinet Member for the Environment at Worcestershire County Council.

Tory Brettell portraitTory Brettell

Tory Brettell has over 40 years’ experience within the leisure industry from qualifying as a Physical Training Instructor in the Women's Royal Navy to working as the Leisure Director for Whitbread Hotels (Marriott), to further working overseas in managing and supporting 49 Clubs in Europe.  Today, she manages Traffic Health and Fitness, which offers professional support and advice on all matters relating to operating health, fitness, golf and spa facilities in the UK and overseas.

Tory is a highly motivated person and enjoys life to full. She loves being with people and loves all kinds of sports and activities. Tory does like to dot the I's and cross the T's and has a spreadsheet for everything!

She is passionate about the future of Droitwich Spa having recently moved back to the town where she was born and raised. Tory wants to help the Place Board in making Droitwich Spa a destination people would choose in the future and build upon the heritage and events which are already a big part of this historical town.

Blank portraitMark Keld

Mark is the Town Clerk & Responsible Finance Officer for Droitwich Spa Town Council. He has spent five years in role and 12 years in Local Government. Prior to that, 26 years continuous career tenure with a major bank in the retail financial sector- covering all branch, area and regional network management roles and responsibilities.

Rod Spollon portraitRod Spollon

Rod has enjoyed working in a variety of different industries including engineering, auctioneering, motorsport, events, hospitality, property, graphic design and finance. Rod has been a Droitwich Spa business owner for over a decade, owning and operating the Impney Estate.

 

 

Tim Kirkham portraitTim Kirkham

Tim has lived in Droitwich Spa all his life and was fortunate to be the manager of Droitwich Spa Leisure Centre for 30 years. During this time, he enjoyed seeing the leisure centre and the Lido grow into the facilities they are today.

Tim retired from Wychavon Leisure in November 2022 and joined Wychavon District Council as Leisure Facilities Manager. In this role, he works on projects to enhance Wychavon’s current leisure facilities and making them fit for the future.

Will Kerton portraitWill Kerton

Will originally trained as an auctioneer in the livestock markets of Somerset before qualifying as a Rural Practice Chartered Surveyor. He became a Partner with Knight Frank in 2006 and ran their Worcester Office for over 10 years.

In 2017, he joined his wife Gillian with the operating of Churchfields Farm near Droitwich Spa. Churchfields is a working mixed farm that is famous for its ice cream.  It is also the proud producers of Droitwich Salt and in more recent years has become a farm park with a large children’s play area, animal paddocks, fairy trail, café and restaurant. Seasonal events include spring lambing, maize maze, pumpkin picking and Christmas fairs and family experiences. 

As a local man, Will is a very excited about what the Place Board proposes for his hometown.

Rachel Harrison portraitRachel Harrison

Rachel has worked within the beauty industry for almost 20 years after qualifying in High Level Beauty and Business. Education has always been a priority to Rachel. As well as owning her own Salon, Rachel teaches and develops courses in the private education and National Vocational Qualification sectors as educator and assessor. This work has meant teaching classes across the country, delivering seminars and product knowledge demonstrations at trade events as well as international travel.

Being an active High Street trader and having a passion to develop and preserve the town she loves, she joined Wychavon’s Town Advisory Panel. Rachel spent four years on the panel and worked with them on inward investment, accessibility, development plans and Town Centre Recovery in an advisory role to the executive board whilst working within the remit of Wychavon’s promises. She was also part of the steering group for Droitwich Spa Town Centre Investment Prospectus.

Rachel hopes to bring experience from working with Wychavon, councillors and local groups to the place board as well as helping guide projects for what is best for Droitwich Spa as a town.

Patrick Davis portraitPatrick Davies

Patrick has lived in Droitwich Spa with his family for 46 years and is very happy to call this lovely place home. He joined the Place Board as he strongly believes that Droitwich Spa has far more to give to residents and visitors.

Patrick’s commercial career was spent in the Food Industry – Cadburys, Typhoo Tea and Food from Britain and he did lots of travelling around the world, but it was always great to come home to Droitwich Spa. He helped set up the Droitwich Spa Food & Drink Festival in 2012 and was also involved in helping to return Droitwich Salt to retail and catering establishments around the UK. He is now retired and looks forward to supporting some of the exciting projects the board has identified.

John Hamilton portraitJohn Hamilton

John has been an entrepreneur for 40 years. In the 80s and 90s, he worked on restructuring the business model of the insurance industry before becoming PA to the late Sir John Harvey Jones, who turned many ailing businesses around. John also spent two years working alongside a leading QC as an assistant in the high court, gaining him legal executive status.

In the last 25 years, John set up a local research and development manufacturing company which pioneered using plant material for dermatology care. His company is now heading to the pharmaceutical sector and worldwide distribution. John is involved with universities in the study of life cell research related to senescence and creating products to combat it.

He has recently been appointed joint chairman of Droitwich Spa Business Association to represent the views of the local business community.

Alex Sinton portraitAlex Sinton

Alex has been a Droitwich Spa Town Councillor since 2011 and is currently the Deputy Mayor. As a member of the Wychavon Town Centres Advisory Panel from 2019-2023, he was involved in the development of the Droitwich Spa Town Centre Prospectus and is delighted that the Place Board is taking steps to implement its recommendations.

Four generations of Alex’s family live in the town and he is therefore passionate about its future. The town has a great history and Alex believes the Place Board will help secure its future.

Wychavon Business Front Improvement Grant

Applications for this grant scheme have now closed.

Funded by UK Government logo Levelling Up logo

How businesses look has a significant impact on how people feel about a place and where they choose to spend their money.

If you are an independent small or medium-sized business, in specific areas of Evesham and Droitwich Spa then the Business Front Improvement Grant is an opportunity to get free support from Wychavon, working in partnership with our local Place Boards, to upgrade your premises.

Grants of between £500 and £10,000 are available to apply for. You will be expected to fund 50% of the cost of any project from your own funds.

Existing businesses, new start-ups and property owners of occupied and empty units can apply.

The scheme is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, as part of our commitment to supporting our town centres.

Why apply for a Business Front Improvement Grant?

Applying for a Business Front Improvement Grant means:

  • You will receive significant support to improve your building or frontage.
  • You will be helping improve the way people feel about the place you do business in, which could help to increase footfall and provide more opportunities to make sales.
  • Property owners can make improvements which will increase the value of your premises.
  • The support can be used to help bring an empty unit back into use.
  • Your improvements could help encourage other investment into the town, benefitting everyone.
  • We can showcase the town’s historic architecture and character.

Please read the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions before making an application.

If you think you will need planning permission, then new and expanding businesses that create employment opportunities can get free pre-application advice. If you have already read all the eligibility criteria and other supporting information, then use the link below to apply for a grant.

Apply for a Wychavon Business Improvement Grant

If you would like to discuss a project, or have any questions about the application process, then please Enquire now

Wychavon 50th anniversary logo