Plans for regeneration of city centre
It has been recognised for some time now that Coventry lags behind many other cities and towns in England and the UK as a shopping destination.
In a recent report it was ranked 49th in terms of retail spending which is totally unacceptable for the ninth largest city in England. Coventry attracts constant criticism as a poor shopping destination and this comes from the city’s residents, retail commentators and visitors alike.
This is very bad for Coventry’s reputation and very damaging to the economy in Coventry, with nearby cities and towns such as Royal Leamington Spa, Solihull, Leicester, and Birmingham perceived to be much better by shoppers. Many Coventrians spend their hard earned money in these places which means too much money is leaving the city and damaging our city’s prosperity.
Coventry also misses out on potential spend from visitors because we are not attracting enough of them. Just look how much shoppers spend in Coventry compared to other cities in the UK:
Nottingham – spend for 2010 £1.8 billion (14th largest UK city)
Cardiff – spend for 2010 £1030 million (12th largest UK city)
Coventry – spend for 2010 £510 million (11th largest UK city)
The main proposals for the regeneration are:
New anchor store
1200 space car park
A new cinema complex
A new hotel
Making the retail market more visible
Demolition of Coventry Point
Re-establishing the bridge access from Hertford Street to Broadgate
As you can see the plans also focus on improving the night time economy.
This is what the council say:
The new 120,000 square foot anchor store (equivalent to almost two full-size football pitches) - located towards Bull Yard will provide retail over three floors. It has been positioned and designed to maximise its appeal to all the top retailers - and includes a new car park. The nearby hotel will include shops below and the cinema will be at first floor level - with restaurants at ground floor level.
The configuration, size and number of new units proposed in the plan are designed to attract the big stores and quality brands people would expect to see in a centre as large as Coventry. The scale and viability of the scheme has been carefully planned to provide the best chance of attracting the right developer and range of retailers.
Much of the land and current property in the city centre is owned by Aviva and this is what they say:
John Whateley, from Aviva Investors, said: "We have been working closely with Coventry City Council whilst taking on board the comments from the community consultation in order to outline a comprehensive re-development blueprint for the southern Precinct. The emphasis has been on the deliverability of the scheme, with the proposal seeking to positively enhance Coventry City Centre as a retail and leisure destination."
We are broadly very supportive of the proposals and are delighted that so much is in line with ideas we put forward a few years ago. See the Coventry Society’s response to the proposals for City Centre South.
Click on the images to enlarge.