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New-look city centre moves another step closer

Published Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Plans to bring about the City Centre South (CCS) project will transform the heart of Coventry.

The plans are likely to progress further if backing for the acquisition of further property interests in the area is improved.

The multi-million pound development plan will bring in major retailers, new leisure opportunities and city centre housing, vastly improving some of the most out-dated areas of the city centre, including Bull Yard, Shelton Square, City Arcade and Hertford Street. The completed scheme will make the city the second biggest shopping destination in the West Midlands.

The Council has an opportunity to help speed up the land assembly work required by purchasing the leasehold interests in Coventry Point, Hertford House and parts of Hertford Street, as well as Shelton Square / Market Chambers.

The Council has already secured a £98.8m grant from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) towards the cost of the CCS scheme. The funding will also cover the cost of any third party purchase.

The early purchase of these long leasehold property interests may also enable the early demolition of Coventry Point.

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council's Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, said: “We want to revive the city centre and bring more local people and visitors to the city centre. We are already making an impact by helping to bring new restaurants into Cathedral Lanes and we have recently announced plans to remove the escalator in Upper Precinct.

“I’m hoping that colleagues will now also support the option to purchase a large part of the land in the City Centre South area. This will be an important step in helping bring the city centre regeneration plans to life.”  

The whole scheme will be anchored by a new department store which will be built at the end of Market Way, making it a real city landmark and the hotel and leisure part of the development will be based around Hertford Street – linking to Cathedral Lanes, which is also being developed by the Shearer Group.

The scheme is set to create around 1,500 permanent jobs, with over 2,000 more during the building work, and once open it is expected to generate an extra £20m a year of income to the city.

Cllr John Mutton, Coventry City Council's Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance and Resources, added: “The Council is playing a crucial role in the ongoing development of the city. That’s partly why we have secured £98.8m, and why we want to do everything we can to ensure that the scheme becomes a reality.”

WMCA finance and investment lead, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, said: “We are watching this project very keenly as a flagship development for the whole West Midlands region.

“Supporting development on this scale at combined authority level is where we can add real value and I am very pleased to see progress being made.”

CCS will include:

  • a major department store
  • flagship stores
  • up to 50 new retail units
  • a multi-storey car park
  • a cinema and other leisure uses
  • restaurants
  • private and rented residential and student accommodation
  • and hotel.

The whole scheme will transform the city centre offer connecting the city's important circular market with the rest of the centre and is set to open for business by 2022.

The decision will be discussed on 28 November 2017. If approved, it will then go to Full Council on 5 December 2017.

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