AUG 00] CITY
CENTRE COMPANY NEWS
Coventry Fights To Hang On To Its Shoppers
cost of parking in Coventry could be cut to stop the city’s shops losing
out to new developments in the area.
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.
Millett, chief executive of the Coventry City Centre Company said reducing
car parking prices is one tactic that has to be considered.
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.
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.
a successful legal challenge to the new shops surrounding Arena 2001, the
plans for the development on the former Foleshill gasworks have changed.
will now be two large stores, one a Tesco, instead of the supermarket and
six smaller retail units.
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.
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.
disappointing but as far as we are concerned we never had that money.
are looking to all the parties involved to try and work with them for
the benefit of the city centre.
don’t know what other store might be there. If it’s a big variety
store then it might be difficult.”
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.
surface parking is a huge asset to any development. Coventry has good
car parking, but it doesn’t have that.”
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.”
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
development work in the city centre, primarily the Lower Precinct
transformation, has already caused anger among shoppers.
half the spaces in Queen Victoria Road have been reserved for car park
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.
lengthy queues formed on Saturday as weekend shoppers found they
couldn’t park in their favourite spot.
Millett said the situation was being reviewed.
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