Plans for major Coventry city centre scheme welcomed by WMCA

Plans have been submitted for the regeneration of a large part of Coventry city centre in a major scheme being backed with nearly £100m of West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) funding.

Outline plans for the City Centre South project, which includes new homes, shops, restaurants and a cinema were today (Friday November 27) welcomed by Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who said the scheme would help the city bounce back from the impacts of Covid-19.

Plans submitted to Coventry planners by the Shearer Property Group involve the redevelopment of 15 acres on the south side of the city centre including Bull Yard, Shelton Square, Market Way, City Arcade and Hertford Street. The scheme also includes land for a future hotel.

Plans for major Coventry city centre scheme welcomed by WMCA

A CGI image showing an aerial view of the City Centre South scheme in Coventry

The Mayor, who chairs the WMCA, said: “The submission of these plans is welcome news. Lockdown has hit our city centres hard but City Centre South, and other major schemes already underway in Coventry, can lay the groundwork for the new jobs, homes and commerce we will need to recharge our local economy.

“That’s why the WMCA has continued to invest millions in new infrastructure and regeneration schemes throughout this pandemic. Not only are we putting £98m towards City Centre South but we are also putting a further £40m into the redevelopment of the city’s rail station and tens of millions more into schemes like Friargate.

“It’s important we show no let-up in this investment as we work to build a greener and fairer future. Coventry and the rest of the West Midlands have many inherent strengths – a diverse and innovative economy, one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in Europe, unrivalled connectivity, brilliant centres of learning, and world-class businesses, large and small.

“It is these underlying strengths, together with major investment in schemes like City Centre South, that will help our region get through this crisis and recapture our pre-Covid-19 economic success.”

The Mayor, the former boss of retailer John Lewis, said City Centre South represented a 21st century rethink, moving away from the reliance on big anchor stores and making city centre living a reality by creating hundreds of new homes on a reclaimed brownfield site.

While the scheme will cater for high-quality retail and leisure, it has also been designed to drive footfall from new city centre residents and attract people in from the suburbs. The scheme will also include co-working premises and community space.

The WMCA will continue to work closely with the Shearer Property Group and Coventry City Council in progressing the scheme.

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