Coventry city centre improvements to attract investment
Recent and planned improvements to Coventry city centre mean it can now be used on the international stage to attract huge investment for the future.
Coventry and Warwickshire is being promoted at the largest commercial property show in the world next month and several major improvements to the city centre will form part of a marketing push.
The announcement of three new national restaurant chains signing up for the Cathedral Lanes restaurant quarter, the planned Coventry University scheme for the City Council site in the city centre and Friargate will all figure prominently in talks with investors.
Kevin Maton, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for Business, Enterprise and Employment, believes those schemes, coupled with major improvements to public areas across the city centre, are now strong selling points for property professionals at the four day MIPIM conference.
He said: “I think there is a feeling that the city has really upped its game in improving the centre and that is reflected in the feedback we have been getting from the wider property world.
“The new owners of Cathedral Lanes opted to invest only when they saw the improvements that had been made to Broadgate. That gave them the encouragement to bring representatives of national chains to the city – and within weeks the first phase is fully let.
“We know that the city centre has punched below its weight bearing in mind Coventry’s size and its commercial base. That is not a problem to fix easily or quickly , but I do believe that the improvements the City Council has made to the general environment have started to make an impact.
“Work is progressing on Friargate and soon people will be able to see how the new deck will open up access from the station quarter to the city centre, which will emphasise a key feature of Coventry - our location in the centre of the UK.
“Coventry University has been working on a proposed scheme for almost a year and certainly its plans for a base amongst other things for research and international work are very exciting and do offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity for a key site in the city.
“If you then couple that with the firm plans we have for improving our leisure offer in the city centre and the proposals for other areas of the city centre which we have just put forward, we can see already half a billion pounds worth of investment in the City Centre alone.
“We have to keep that going and – as the owners of Cathedral Lanes did – ensure the message of improvement is picked up by national and international investors. MIPIM is the ideal arena at which to do that.”
Peter Deeley, of the Deeley Group which has developed in the city for more than 75 years, urged the city to keep concentrating on quality of development.
“I agree that for the first time in a long time there is a real momentum about the city centre and we all have an interest in ensuring that continues,” he said.
“The improvements made by the city council have been of high quality and that is what is demanded by consumers and therefore by retailers and leisure providers.
“That is a difficult level to maintain but it is essential. It is what the market demands and we have to provide it.”
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Matt Joyce .
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