The announcement that the £38 million project in the Lower
Precinct will finally start has been welcomed by the organisations
involved in the scheme.
Even groups forced to move out or made to change their plans by
today’s announcement say they believe the changes will be for the
best in the long run.
John Heeley, chief executive of Coventry and Warwickshire
Promotions, had hoped to transform the round café in the centre of
the Lower Precinct into a tourism and ticket outlet.
But he said the disappointment of losing the site was far
out-weighed by the benefit to the city as important visitors to
Coventry who are being shown the sights have to be shepherded away
from the ugly and dilapidated 1950s buildings.
Dr Heeley said:
"It’s great news that the revitalisation of the Lower
Precinct is going ahead.
"Obviously we are disappointed that it appears we cannot use
the round café as a Tourist Information Centre. But we are
confident we can find an alternative location at the heart of the
People needing help from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau will also
soon be forced to visit a different part of the city centre as the
Corporation Street base is to close as part of the changes.
Managers had been given a stay of execution after an original
January deadline to move out passed without them finding alternative
accommodation for the service.
Deputy manager Val Horton said negotiations were under way to fix
up a new home for the CAB.
"Hopefully we will be out of the way before the bulldozers
Sheila Collins, chair of the city council’s Economic Regeneration
Policy Team said:
"Obviously this is good news for the city, as this
development is a major piece in the city centre jigsaw.
"Most people acknowledge that the area needs a major uplift
and the injection of this new development provides another boost to
the on-going feel-good factor about our city centre."
Richard Pardoe, property fund manager of Scottish Life added:
"Lower Precinct is a key part of Coventry city centre’s
retailing and the redevelopment proposals will be updating and
improving a prime retail position rather than pioneering to extend
the city’s retail area."