CWN - News & Information for Coventry & Warwickshire 20x21spacer.gif (59 bytes)What's New?Search CWN
Coventry Fights To Hang On To Its Shoppers

The cost of parking in Coventry could be cut to stop the city’s shops losing out to new developments in the area.

The threat from the new arena 2001 at Foleshill, as well as major town centre developments in Solihull and Birmingham means Coventry faces a fight to hang on to its shoppers.

Liz Millett, chief executive of the Coventry City Centre Company said reducing car parking prices is one tactic that has to be considered.

The City Centre Company manages the car parks and passes the income on to the city council. If it reaches its budget this year, the car parks will collect £4.7 million.

Coventry City Council gives the City Centre Company £4.3 million a year – all its previous budgets for running the centre rolled into one. An extra £700,000 is raised privately.

Following a successful legal challenge to the new shops surrounding Arena 2001, the plans for the development on the former Foleshill gasworks have changed.

There will now be two large stores, one a Tesco, instead of the supermarket and six smaller retail units.

And the city council’s Planning Committee decided that this meant the developers do not have to pay £100,000 to the City Centre Company to help counter the threat to the shops in the city centre.

Ms Millett said facing up to the challenge of the new arena, whatever the format, was a big one, and the money would have been a big help.

She said:Liz Millett

“It’s disappointing but as far as we are concerned we never had that money.

“We are looking to all the parties involved to try and work with them for the benefit of the city centre.

“We don’t know what other store might be there. If it’s a big variety store then it might be difficult.”

Free parking and novelty value of new shops can be a big draw to shoppers. Ms Millett said that the aim was for the city centre to attract people who were coming to the area to investigate the new arena.

She said:

“Free surface parking is a huge asset to any development. Coventry has good car parking, but it doesn’t have that.”

“There’s a potential to discount parking or to make it free for a period. I think we’ve got to do something – it’s the only way we can diminish the threat, and it is a real threat.”

Ms Millett said there was anecdotal evidence that the most recent shopping development, the Central Six Retail Park, was starting to have an effect on city centre stores, particularly those chains represented in both places.

And development work in the city centre, primarily the Lower Precinct transformation, has already caused anger among shoppers.

Almost half the spaces in Queen Victoria Road have been reserved for car park pass-holders.

These changes were introduced because of the work around the Barracks car park, which made it hard for office workers who rely on being able to go in and out of the city during the day, to get the access they need.

But lengthy queues formed on Saturday as weekend shoppers found they couldn’t park in their favourite spot.

Ms Millett said the situation was being reviewed.

She added:

“It think we’ve got to recognise that any form of disruption to people’s parking habits is likely to dissuade them from coming to the city centre.”
1x22rule.gif (89 bytes)
The Giant Card Company, Coventry

150x15more.gif (274 bytes)


Find an old School Friend on CWN

Help support CWN - buy your books online with Amazon

CWN / Business / A-Z / City Centre Company Coventry / 4 Aug 00

©1995-2000 Coventry Internet Developments Ltd

This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM