CWN - News & Information for Coventry & Warwickshire 20x21spacer.gif (59 bytes)What's New?Search CWN
Not A Smooth Start For The Groovy Ball Facelift 

The revamped Abbey Court will be unofficially unveiled on Thursday, after a series of high-profile glitches at the Kenilworth site.

The £30,000 water feature that should make the centrepiece of the display has been returned after concern about the location of Kenilworth – which has been moved from the Midlands to near London.

The ball, which will sit in a fountain and can be pushed around, marks all the Kenilworths across the world. The Warwickshire town has namesakes in the USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia.

The whole project has run behind schedule, and traders threatened to withhold rent because they lost custom because of the work.

And there is now concern over the bus lay-by, as it turns out that northbound vehicles won’t be able to use the new bus shelter after all. Warwick District Council blames the county for not informing it about plans to make changes, and there is no way buses heading into Coventry can use the new stop without more engineering works.

But councillors and officers will be putting on a brave, and probably relieved face, that the project is finally finished.

The overall £400,000 has seen a repaving of the open area, new bus lay-bys, taxi waiting area, trees and benches, plus a realignment to the roundabout.

Barring further accidents, the mayor will lead the ceremony at 1pm on Thursday, which will mark the completion of the work that has been taking place since Spring.

It will be the first day when the weekly market is held at front of the Abbey Court shops. For the last four years, it was held in the car park, behind the shops. Many people thought it was tucked away out of sight.

The market had moved from the former Bear and Ragged Staff car park at the other end of the town centre, before the land was transferred to Sainsbury’s.

The monthly farmers’ market and annual Continental market have used the new siting and it seems to have worked well.

The revamp should help cheer up the area of 1960s architecture, which is somewhat out of place in one of Warwickshire’s most affluent towns.

The water feature is officially to be known as The Globe - as it is a map of the world and it stands on the site on the Globe Hotel that was bombed in the Second World War.

But the feature is better-known in town as the ‘groovy ball’ which stemmed from a comment made by the town centre manager when the project was first discussed - and the nickname stuck.

Town mayor Graham Windybank said of the Abbey End enhancement:

“I think it is a real improvement on what was there before. It is interesting to see that people are using the nice circular seats and seem to be enjoying the area already.

“I think the water feature in the middle will finish it all off. I have seen the ball water feature, and with others I have my own views of the treatment of the delineation of the continents.

“But it should be known that the ball is only about 80 cm in diameter and so Britain is about 9 or 10cm so it is hard to be that accurate given the size.

“I am very upbeat about it all and I think this is good news for Kenilworth. We have been waiting for a long time and now it is finished.”

Historically, the revamp of Abbey End has divided the two parties representing Kenilworth at town and district level, with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats fiercely opposed on what work was needed to update the shopping and housing complex.

But Cllr Windybank said:

“Times have moved on, and the decision has been made and the work is complete. I think most people will agree, it is all very much better now.

“The Continental Market in July was a good test and things have been refined since.”

1x22rule.gif (89 bytes)
Brooklands Grange

150x15more.gif (274 bytes)



HST Computer Services

Help support CWN - buy your books online with Amazon

Have your say on TalkZone!

CWN / Politics / Warwick District Council / 07 Aug 00

©1995-2000 Coventry Internet Developments Ltd

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