Whiting recently completed a unique installation of a public space only ten minutes’ drive from our headquarters in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. The 1,900 m² scheme was the former Bromsgrove Market Hall site, located on St. John’s  Street in the town centre.

Designed by ONE Creative Environments on behalf of North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration and Bromsgrove District Council we worked alongside Kelbec Civil Engineers on the construction of the project. The Bird Box has since provided a valuable community area for Bromsgrove residents incorporating a stage, creative seating and open areas facilitating social distancing.

The Client’s requirement was to provide a space for “pop up” and mobile businesses, presenting opportunities and support for start ups, local entrepreneurs and small retail outlets short on internal space to serve customers while adhering to current Covid 19 directives.

Focusing very much on sustainability and innovation, The Bird Box initiative offered a unique set of challenges and involved the re-use and recycling of many of the existing materials already on site. The existing concrete platform was broken up to  fill the gabion baskets and also utilised to back fill below the seating area. The installation of vertical artificial grass on the seating cubes and creation of large planters from metal crates incorporating two types of brick,  also proved challenging.

Acer campestre, Tilia cordata and one prunus were planted to provide shade, interest and to assist in the absorption of carbon dioxide. Being good urban street trees they are tolerant of most soil types and thrive in a town centre environment so were selected for their suitability. Several bamboo were also installed to act as a shield from some of the surrounding buildings.

The Bird Box, named after a feature carved into many of the existing Bromsgrove shopfronts, has provided both our local community and local businesses with an innovative, fun and functional space and Whiting are very proud to have been involved in this special project.

Ethelflaed, Lady of Mercia

We have recently “adopted” a beautiful stained-glass window which is situated in the Medieval Cloister of Worcester Cathedral in support of the upkeep of this wonderful historic building and its treasures.

Princess Ethelflaed, Lady of Mercia and daughter of King Alfred the Great, was our sponsorship choice out of the many riches to be found in the Cathedral –  along with her husband Ethelred, she fortified Worcester and granted the Cathedral rights of lordship over the City.

A fascinating character, Ethelflaed broke through the glass ceiling to become a tough warrior queen against the Vikings but she was also renowned as a keen negotiator too. Respected as a strong female role model she is buried in St Oswald’s Priory in Gloucester.

Started in 1084, the current Cathedral building has its fair share of treasures and the Dean and Chapter are committed to the upkeep of its fabric both inside and out. To help support the on-going conservation and running costs of the building, the Cathedral is now offering the opportunity to adopt a piece of its history. Options for adopting a piece of history include the beautiful coloured, stained-glass windows in the Medieval Cloister, showing the history of the country, city and Cathedral through famous historical figures. Such figures include early Christian pilgrims and saints, heroes and heroines, kings and queens, and some not-so-saintly characters such as King John!’

For further information please visit the Cathedral Website, e mail: development@worcestercathedral.org.uk or telephone 01905 732946. Worcester Cathedral News, Spring 2020