Last Monday we held our third event, once again at PCA Predict, and once more it felt like a great success – thanks to Natalie looking after us again!

For the last 10 months we’ve been asking the question: “What should The Kiln be?”.

We’ve obviously had plenty of ideas of our own, but starting a project like this, asking the community what it actually needs was always going to be of vital importance.

Last Monday’s event was set up to give the community another chance to throw its ideas into the hat before we start setting some of these ideas into stone!

Once again, it was great to see members of the creative and tech business communities, representatives from the City and County Council, one of the political parties as well as the University. Even more encouraging was seeing a much more significant volume of Worcester university students. Students are one of the key demographics we hope to engage with, so it was great to have so many join us to share their opinions.

We had two talks on the evening. The first was from Joel Long, a graduate from Worcester Uni who told us a little bit about his love of Worcester as a city, why he was attracted to it as a student and how as an individual he feels and felt the need for what we are trying to achieve.

The second talk was from Bruce Simpson, the man behind Worcester Soup. Bruce talked a little bit about our community, what Worcester Soup has achieved and how The Kiln might be able to take some inspiration from the Soup model.

After hearing these thoughts from Joel and Bruce we split ourselves into smaller groups and chatted. As always we got some really great feedback and ideas. We also heard some really useful, though actually quite surprising, words from a couple of the graduate students. One particular comment stood out as something that really keyed in with one the the goals we originally scratched out in the very early stages of this project.

We were told by one of the students that since they came to study at the university, they have never considered staying here in Worcester to start a career. They told us that, whilst they love the city, it has been their impression that work, opportunities and even internships are just not available here.

Here at The Kiln, as a group of people who feel passionate about what Worcester has to offer, it has always been a goal to ensure we are doing as much as we can to help retain talent in Worcester. Hearing this from a talented student really given us a real kick to do everything we can to address those sorts of feelings, not just in students, but in all Worcester’s talent!

The next step is to pull together all of the feedback we have gathered over the last year and use it to set out some solid goals for the future of The Kiln.

We will never stop listening, so if you have any ideas, please continue to send them to us!

Thanks again to all who came – not least to Joel and Bruce for your talks!

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(Photography by James Greenoff/F8 Creates)

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