Friday, 07 July 2017
The Hive has been praised as an asset to the county and an iconic addition to Worcester’s skyline as it celebrates its fifth birthday.
The £60m library is a partnership between the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council and it has won over 25 awards since Her Majesty the Queen opened it in 2012.
Last night it hosted a special event to celebrate its first five years and to look forward to the future.
He added: “What we have shown in the first five years is that together we can really do it and it’s really fantastic and it’s transformative and it’s having a wonderful impact today and every day in the lives of so many people.”
Lucy Hodgson, County Council Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “In my role I have been fortunate to see what a difference The Hive is making to the people of Worcestershire. Our partnership with the University is vital to our success and we’re extremely proud to have jointly brought this project to life.”
Ninety-year-old resident Walter Daisley, who has been to The Hive every single day since it opened, and came with fellow Hive attendee, his great granddaughter two-year-old Lilly Jeynes, told those assembled: “I love it because the people in it are very warm.
“Libraries were used for storage of books and silence and it was anti-exploratory. I find it magic here in this place. I always find some new book I have never heard of.”
Guests praised the library’s approach and its achievements in its first five years.
Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate, Oakley Flanagan, 18, who gave a reading, said: “It’s really important because there’s such a community here.
“Young people have a space, somewhere they’re allowed to be, not just that, but welcomed. It’s the perfect catalyst for them reading and learning.
“It’s designed for people of all ages and it does encourage community cohesion.”
Worcester City Mayor, Cllr Steve Mackay, said: “From a brilliant initial idea it has gone on to win various awards and provides a fantastic service for the City for everyone to use – from infants to senior citizens.
“It’s been a positive influence on the City and a real achievement for Worcester.
“It’s quite iconic to the Worcester skyline.”
Leader of Worcester City Council, Cllr Adrian Gregson, said The Hive had acted as a catalyst to other projects in the City, such as the Arena and Cathedral Square, and was an attraction it its own right.
“It’s been a massive bonus to the City,” he said.
“Worcester is in people’s minds to come here and do things but also to invest [because of The Hive]. What we’re about is creating a sustainable economy and this is a key part of it.
“Now we have a fantastic eye-catching, modern, active building, always full at one end of the city and a really nice contrasting part with the Cathedral and older end of the City.
“It’s been a really successful partnership. It has boosted literacy in the City.”
City councillor Joy Squires, of Arboretum ward, and Labour’s candidate in the recent general election, said: “It’s a wonderful facility and a great asset to Worcestershire and it’s really put us on the map in terms of education and culture.
“I loved the design from the very beginning and I think the building has blended well. It’s iconic, modern and it’s about Worcester’s future.
“The concept of The Hive was to make it something for young people and children of Worcester and I think it’s really succeeded in that mission.”
Rob Sykes, Former Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council, who was in charge during early stages of The Hive, said: “It’s not just fulfilled our expectations, it’s exceeded our expectations because we always thought by putting the two together the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. It’s been instrumental in increasing the reputation of the City.”
As part of the Hive at Five celebrations, budding bakers of all ages are invited to create a show-stopping cake at its 5th anniversary community day tomorrow (Saturday 8th July).
Both junior and senior bakers are invited to enter the contest and two winners will be crowned The Hive at Five Star Bakers. Each winner receives a £25 voucher and golden wooden spoon.
Competitors should bring in their cake between 12pm and 2pm for display and judging will begin at 3pm. Entry forms can be downloaded from The Hive’s events webpage at www.thehiveworcester.org.
The community event, from 10am to 4pm, will also include local food and drink stalls, entertainment, craft activities, story time for kids as well as the Hive at Five exhibition documenting the building’s history.