A major new improvement project in the centre of Coventry has been given a seasonal opening.
The nine-month, £5 million programme has transformed the area between Gosford Street through to the Coventry University Engineering and Computing Building to the old Whitefriars Monastery.
A new spine walkway has been created complete with seating areas, new lighting and an enlarged and improved pond.
It has been designed to also improve safety and will incorporate new entrances to Coventry City Council’s car-parks, additional lighting and full CCTV coverage.
The project, funded by the University and the European Regional Development Fund, and managed by Coventry City Council, has been finished on time and on budget.
And it was given a festive opening complete with carols from the Pattison College choir and free mince pies for people using the new space.
David Soutter, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources) of Coventry University, said the project had totally transformed the area.
“This work has totally transformed this area of the city and the University campus,” he said. “There had been a lot of development in the area, but with Gosford Street and the elevated ring road and the car-parks it needed some radical work.
“This scheme has changed it beyond all recognition and is now the perfect environment for everyone who uses it. Not only is it a very pleasant space to spend time in, but it forms a perfect link between key parts of the University and the city.
“The Council and the University have invested heavily in the public realm in recent years and that, combined with the insistence that all projects should be of the highest quality, is making a telling difference to the city centre.”
Balfour Beatty undertook the nine-month project which was finished off with a planting of a tree by Coventry’s Lord Mayor Councillor Michael Hammon.
Councillor Rachel Lancaster, Cabinet Member for Public Services at Coventry City Council, said: "I'm delighted with how this work has gone. We have created a wonderful new connection between Gosford Street and our wonderful historic Whitefriars as well as the University's engineering and computing building.
“It's gone from quite a narrow and dark walkway to a wide, tree lined walkway with impressive new lighting and quality paving.
"We have moved the entrances to our car-parks, widened the pavements and installed some great new lighting under the ring road. The area really has been transformed."