Development of a second office building at Friargate in Coventry is set to take a major step forward this week with contractors beginning work on site.
Following a comprehensive tender process Bowmer and Kirkland has been appointed by the Friargate Joint Venture to deliver Two Friargate and work started this week.
Two Friargate will be located next to Coventry Railway Station, which is currently undergoing its own multi-million-pound development and is one of the busiest in the UK. It is also within walking distance of Coventry City Centre which is also benefiting from significant investment.
The development of this second office building has been made possible thanks to a £51.2m grant from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “Friargate is a critical part of the regeneration of Coventry, and it is great to see work get underway on the second building.
“As many Coventrians will know this project has been a long time coming, but I am delighted that after the WMCA intervened and put more than £50m on the table, Two Friargate was able to move forward and we’ve reached today’s milestone.
“As well as helping to fund this scheme, the WMCA is also the single biggest investor in Coventry City of Culture next year, and is funding nearly £40m towards the redevelopment of Coventry railway station.
“Coventry is key to the future success of the West Midlands and our economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and I remain committed to helping regenerate the city.”
Councillor Ian Brookfield, the WMCA’s Cabinet member for Economy and Innovation, added: “It is great news that work is set to get underway at Two Friargate in Coventry.
“This major development for the city demonstrates the importance of investment in projects throughout the West Midlands that support economic growth and create new jobs for people across the region.”
It is estimated that the scheme, which will see up to £17m contributed by Coventry City Council on top of the WMCA’s money, will create up to 700 jobs during construction.
Work is already underway to talk to businesses that might want to take part or all of the building – creating further jobs.
Councillor George Duggins, the leader of Coventry City Council, said: “This kind of investment is always welcome and always important. But it is amplified by the current pandemic as we need to do all we can for this city and the people who live here so when we finally emerge out of the other side we are in a strong position.
“Coventry has always been ambitious, and we have always driven change so its no surprise to me that developments like this are proceeding. This project will provide and support jobs in the city and that’s very good news indeed.”
Two Friargate which is to be owned by the City Council, will contain 134,000 sqft of lettable Grade A office space.
The office space will be of a premium standard with state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, environmentally friendly and easily adaptable in order to suit any future occupiers.