for the Regions Richard Caborn today heralded Coventry Citys new stadium as a
"jewel in the crown".
The minister, who was one of the government officials who ruled a planning inquiry into
the £120 million development was unnecessary, was in Coventry to launch The Chamber.
He is a keen Sheffield United fan he last visited the city to watch his side in
the FA Cup last season said the new super arena would attract international
"The plan came across my desk and I must have cleared it a few weeks ago now. We
have had a very good dialogue with the local authority and I believe it will be a jewel in
"I have to admit it is quite innovatory and it is one that will be watched and not
just in the United Kingdom.
"It serves a number of purposes. It has enabled us to build on some of the worst
polluted land in the West Midlands, it has made sure you have a stadium which could play a
role in the World Cup, and it is a stadium that will set the trend for new stadia.
"You can close the roof, take the pitch out, use it for many other purposes. That,
from my point of view, is much more sustainable because at the moment football grounds are
used for a couple of hours very fortnight.
"What we want to do is that developments of this nature are used in a much more
Caborn was in the Midland for the first meeting of the Regional Chamber held at the
Coventry City Council headquarters. The new administration is made up of 42 councillors
from across the region, nine business representatives and nine other
The new body will oversee the work of the Regional Development Agency but could
be the precursor to more devolved government.
The minister said: