New route points the way to innovative future

Malvern is to get its own version of the London Underground map as part of this year’s Festival of Innovation.

A specially designed Get Around Route has been created on the streets of Malvern by Spring Lane based Fleet Line Markers.

The route has been created using more than 130 foil stickers and will help guide visitors to the festival around the various venues and discover more of what the town has to offer. Just like the ‘Tube’ map each route is in a different colour but the lines have been named after famous people with a link to Malvern including scientist Charles Darwin and authors CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.

This year’s Malvern Festival of Innovation takes place from Monday to Saturday, 3 to 8 October. The programme launches at Malvern College on the Monday evening with a talk by Oxford professor Marcus du Sautoy OBE, who will be discussing his new book What We Cannot Know, which explores the limits of the human brain to innovate.

Nick Holzherr, a finalist in hit BBC show The Apprentice and founder of smart grocery shopping tool Whisk, will appear on stage at the Coach House Theatre in Malvern on Wednesday, 5 October. He will be joined by Neil Westwood, founder of Magic Whiteboard which won investment on another BBC show Dragons’ Den, and Alistair Shortland, who founded local mobile communications company TextLocal from his bedroom. All three will be sharing their stories of the trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur.

Other highlights include a schools event full of activities and demonstrations aimed at inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs, a business support event to help companies and entrepreneurs deal with issues such as intellectual property and a day focusing on the latest developments in cyber security.

The festival ends on Saturday, 8 October, with a family fun day at Malvern Theatres. This will include free interactive exhibits where children can find out more about drones, Raspberry Pis and 3D Printers as well as two ticketed live shows on the benefits of stem cell research and how to use an electric guitar to explain string theory.

To set the tone for the festival there will be an open air showing of the film The Matrix on Sunday, 2 October in Priory Park.

The festival is being organised by the social enterprise Innovate Malvern CIC, supported by Malvern Hills District Council and with additional support from numerous sponsors. 

Dr Adrian Burden, founder and curator of the festival, said: “Today, more than ever, we all need to innovate. We need new ideas to stay competitive in business, new technologies to improve our lives, and we must be creative in how we use resources. This festival is a fantastic opportunity for businesses and the public to find out what’s coming next and how others are innovating.”

Cllr Phil Grove, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Festival of Innovation once again. It highlights how through innovation we can unlock a world of possibilities and hopefully someone will be inspired to go out and create the next big thing which will revolutionise our lives.”

Tickets for The Matrix cost £8.50 and for the two family shows £7.84. Both are available from the Malvern Theatres Box Office. Most other events are free but places need to be registered. Visit for full details.