Our strengths, challenges, and opportunities

In refreshing the One Coventry Plan for 2022-2030, we have sought to respond to and build upon the following strengths, challenges and opportunities.

The Coventry economy

Coventry has seen strong economic growth over the past few years and is recognised as a national centre for a number of growing business sectors, including advanced manufacturing and engineering; energy and low carbon; connected autonomous vehicles;
business, professional & financial services; digital, creative, and gaming. These have all resulted in the creation of high-quality jobs for in growth sectors. However, there are a number of challenges, Coventry’s economic growth and prosperity lags behind the England average and the city has fewer people in work compared to both regional and national figures.

The impact of the pandemic

The impact continues to be felt, as furlough and income support measures stifled the economic impact. The Office for Budget responsibility’s reference scenario predicts that because of the nature of its economic base, the West Midlands is likely to be one of the worst-affected regions.

An ageing population

Historically, Coventry has been one of the youngest cities in the UK, with a fast-growing population of young adults aged 18-29 and a median age of 32 years compared to the UK average of 40. In the coming years, this is expected to change rapidly, with the 65+ age group expected to become the fastest-growing demographic over the next 15 years. As of 2020, people aged 75+ represent just 6% of the city’s population, compared to the UK average of 9%; but by 2043, the proportion of people aged 75+ is expected to grow to nearly 8%. This has implications for many services, especially the rising demand for health and social care services. At the same time, there are major opportunities to draw on the experience and talents of older people.

Health inequalities

The challenge of reducing health inequalities in Coventry remains – that is, reducing the avoidable differences in health outcomes for our residents. Life expectancy at birth in Coventry for 2017- 19 was 82.2 years for females and 78.7 years for males, both of which were notably lower than the England average; not to mention the wide gap which means someone living in amongst the city’s more
deprived neighbourhoods die on average 10 years younger than a person living in amongst the city’s least deprived neighbourhoods. The impact of investment in housing, services and public realm over the life of the previous Plan is evident but there is more to do to enable everyone to contribute to and benefit from, social and economic development so that growth is truly inclusive.


People value the quality of the environment in Coventry. The city boasts five parks which have been awarded the Green Flag Award for nine consecutive years. We want to continue to promote the use of our parks and green spaces, helping to create connections between communities and promoting physical activity. However, air pollution is a significant problem in Coventry and contributes to
poor health. This disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities – things that can be addressed only by working with partners to reduce nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions, and by nudging changes in behaviour such as promoting active and greener travel.

Skills and education

Although there has been an improvement in the number of residents who now have a qualification level 4 or above, there still
remain pockets of deprivation which limit people’s opportunities to succeed in life, with 7% of the city’s working-age population having no qualifications at all. This may limit their ability to gain more rewarding employment in the city or push them to be redeployed as the economy rapidly changes, and the city’s new jobs increasingly require qualified people. Alongside this, we need to improve digital inclusion to empower local people to access further opportunities through digital means, whilst also developing their digital skills to be able to meet the needs of businesses expanding in our city.

Children and young people are key to the future of the city, and we want Coventry to be a place where every child can thrive and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.