Theatre will be demolished early next year following the
government’s approval of its purchase for the Phoenix Initiative.
The £25 million development
has been given the go-ahead by Deputy Prime Minster John Prescott
following a public inquiry.
Protestors had argued that the
theatre, the only major Art Deco building left in the city, should be
Some argued that the council
should make an effort to return it to its glory days as a theatre.
But this was said to be too
costly, with no guarantee that the crowds would return to that kind of
venue to make the project financially viable.
The arm of Coventry City
Council behind the Phoenix Initiative will now be allowed to serve
Compulsory Purchase Orders on the owners of shops and other buildings
in the area near Pool Meadow.
project is designed to open up the area around Priory Row in a walkway
down to a new look Museum of British Road Transport, with a futuristic
clock laid in a new square.
high-profile casualty of these changes is the Hippodrome, currently
used by Gala Bingo, which is to be demolished.
Initiative Project Manager Colin Dale said the owners of the hall had
been offered a new site in Fairfax Street, and would be given a
“reasonable” amount of time to construct their new home and move.
He said in theory
the project could kick the bingo hall out within eight weeks.
But Mr Dale said
negotiations were under way to try and come to a compromise.
need to start work on demolishing the hippodrome yet, so we can
allow a bit of time.
has been slightly delayed by the public inquiry. We allowed six
months for it.
the Millennium Commission, who are giving us £10 million have
allowed us to extend the deadline until March 2002.”