There’s a soaring new addition to the Coventry City skyline, as preparation for construction of the inaugural building on the £100 million Friargate regeneration scheme intensifies.
An enormous tower crane has been set up on the Friargate site to facilitate the construction of the first of 25 new buildings.
At an impressive 98 metres from the base, which is eight metres taller than Coventry Cathedral’s spire, the huge crane is thought to currently be the tallest structure in the whole of the city. Permission for the installation has even had to be sought from Air Traffic Control.
The dark green crane is due to stay on site for a year, and over the next few weeks will help load materials in to the building’s central core, paving the way for the steelwork to commence.
The building being constructed is a striking 13 story office block, designed by architects Allies and Morrison, which will house a large portion of the Coventry City Council’s office-based staff upon occupation in 2017. It is the first of 14 grade A office blocks to be completed on the 3 million sq ft development, alongside two hotels, homes and shops.
Stephen Reynolds, of Friargate, said: "The arrival of the crane means that the public will soon be able to see the first building taking shape, paving the way for the rest of Friargate; a business-led scheme that will deliver a vibrant new area around the train station and attract new businesses, jobs and visitors."
Councillor Ann Lucas, leader of Coventry City Council said, “I’m delighted to see this huge new crane at Friargate – it’s one of many across the city’s skyline and a real symbol of how much work is underway at the moment.
“Successful cities are always growing and changing and creating more jobs for local people will help us become a top ten city once again. Our building is the first at Friargate but over the next ten years or so up to 15,000 new jobs will be created.”
Located between Coventry railway station and the city centre, Friargate will bring improved pedestrian access and create an attractive new gateway to the city.
In January pupils from St. Osburgs, All Saints C of E and Spon Gate primary schools will plant a time capsule containing items that have been suggested by Coventry residents underneath the development.
Live progress of the Friargate regeneration can be seen on a timelapse camera on the Friargate website: www.friargatecoventry.co.uk