Nuneaton plans get international scrutiny

Thursday 21st of February 2019 10:00 AM

Cllr Butlin

The multi-million-pound plans to transform the centre of Nuneaton are to be showcased to international investors at a global property event.

An early vision for the Transforming Nuneaton project – which has already received £7.5 million of funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) – was first tabled at the MIPIM commercial property development and investment show three years ago.

Now Warwickshire County Council and Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, who are behind the ambitious plans, are returning with a scheme that is ready to bring investment into the town.

They are assembling a group of renowned regeneration experts and property investors to assess the potential of the project to ensure it is well known in the development community.

Councillor Peter Butlin, Warwickshire’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property, will lead the county’s delegation at the show in France and believes the timing and platform are perfect.

He said: “When we first took the ideas for a major scheme to improve the vibrancy of Nuneaton town centre to MIPIM three years ago, we had a vision and an ultimate aim, but that was really the extent of it.

“We wanted to ensure that any scheme or project was not only workable but also attractive to the sort of investors and developers involved in town and city centre regeneration, which is why we approached that community directly at MIPIM.

“They were honest and direct but helpful in what we needed to do to make that possible and, move on three years, and we have a plan which we believe is capable of producing the desired results.

“We have attracted funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership but that is only the start in what could be a 30-year programme.”

The CWLEP funding package will focus on the development of Vicarage Street and the area around the railway station, creating a fitting gateway to the town centre.

The plans also involve improving the use of public space in Nuneaton town centre and investing in the road, rail and transport infrastructure to improve connectivity in the North/South corridor.

MIPIM comes hot on the heads of a string of new investments in and around Nuneaton town centre in the last 18 months.

Pure Gym opened a new 1600sqm gym in Ropewalk, and the town centre saw a number of new independent retailers take space, including gift shop Sassy Giraffe and innovative children’s play centre Tiny Town.

McCarthy & Stone began construction of a new 50-apartment senior living development, Holland & Barrett completed construction of its new 48,000sqft HQ extension on the edge of the town and transport connectivity was greatly improved by the completion of highways work at Coton Arches.

Warwickshire County Council is part of the Coventry and Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership – made up of companies and organisations in a range of property-related sectors – attending MIPIM as part of the UK Midlands presence and will be hosting a range of key stakeholder and investment events.

Councillor Julie Jackson, leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said: “The Transforming Nuneaton programme is now well and truly underway. We are seeing lots of activity on the ground and future developments are progressing at pace.

“Our plans for the town are ambitious - Nuneaton is a fantastic place to live, work and do business, but it has yet to reach its full potential.

“We have been spreading the word far and wide and now developers are starting to cotton on to the huge opportunities this town can offer - its superb location, excellent transport links, wonderful green spaces, strong cultural history and pleasant town centre.

“The new Transforming Nuneaton ‘Prospectus for Growth’ is available online and gives developers some idea of what could be achieved if they choose to invest here.”

Category: Infrastructure