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Council Unveils Further Plans For City Centre Regeneration

Planners have unveiled major new projects costing 12.3 million to transform Coventry into a city of piazzas and squares for the new millennium.

The visionary plans, already approved by the relevant Policy Committee are expected to be rubber stamped by the City Council at its next meeting in November.

Few public areas of the city will be left untouched by the wide ranging, innovative schemes.

Existing squares will be spruced up, three new piazza-style open spaces will be created and the controversial 'circus tent' style Broadgate canopy will be removed.

There are also imaginative schemes to brighten up the city centre with works of art, designer furniture, water features and flowers. Religious buildings and other architecturally outstanding buildings will be illuminated.

The planners are also keen to develop a cafe culture to encourage people into the city centre in the evenings.

It is also planned to develop the Hillfields Shopping Centre, a canalside ribbon walk and to begin a park and ride bus service into the centre from the northern side of the city.

Because the projects are far reaching it has been decided to set up a Coventry Design Consortium to enable the City Council to fast-track the schemes. Panels of consultants in various design fields will be set up to be available at short notice to assist in the specialised elements of particular projects. Where possible they will be local consultants with a desire to improve their city.

The three major squares to be constructed will be Broadgate, Little Park Street-Earl Street fronting the Town Hall and in Priory Street between the Cathedral and the university. Belgrade Theatre square will be redesigned.

The plans have been approved by the city's Economic Affairs Policy Co-Ordinating Committee and will be put before the next City Council meeting on 3 November.

These plans are all part of a major commitment by Coventry City Council to the regeneration of the city centre. It has been clearly recognized that there is a strong need to make the city centre a more vibrant place to encourage more people to spend more time there.

However the difficulty for the Council, with limited resources for capital expenditure, is that such major investment in the city centre will mean that there are no resources for any projects in the rest of the city.

[Full details of these plans are available in the papers for the Economic Affairs Policy Co-ordinating Committee of 21 September 1998. These are available for public inspection at the main Council House.]

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West Orchards Shopping Centre, Coventry

CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 22 Sep 98

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