The Council is to discuss plans to take back the ownership and management of the Lower Precinct and Coventry Market.
The Council already owns the freehold of the site, but Royal London Asset Management has a long-term lease over Lower Precinct and the market. Discussions are now underway for the Council to take back that lease.
A report proposing the Council enters into an Agreement with Royal London will be discussed at Cabinet next week. Two options are being considered – taking over the whole lease for both the Lower Precinct and the Market, or a part of the lease covering just the Market. If entered into the Agreement will give the Council time to undertake its due diligence on the two options followed by another report to Cabinet with a preferred option for approval.
Councillors will meet next week to discuss giving permission for an Agreement to be entered into giving the Council to opt for one or other of the two options. Following that, councillors would meet again to choose the best option.
The Lower Precinct is right in the heart of the city centre, covering 200,000 sq ft of retail space across more than 40 commercial units.
The Market has stood on the current site since 1958 and has won national awards with its massive variety of stalls.
Whichever option the Council pursues the leases and occupation for both the market traders and Lower Precinct retailers would be unaffected.
The two sites represent a key, strategic part of the city centre which has seen major improvements over recent years, and part of the land is alongside the planned City Centre South redevelopment, which will transform a major part of the city, delivering up to 1,500 new homes.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change, said:
“Our city centre has gone through some incredible changes and there is a lot of work still to come as we make it a truly modern centre that is attractive to shoppers, visitors, and businesses.
“City Centre South will be a major step in that work, but we also want to make sure that we protect our much-loved assets such as the Lower Precinct and Market.
“It makes sense for us as a Council so we are in a position to take action when needed and make sure they have a strong and healthy future – just as we are doing with the rest of the city centre and the city as a whole.
“We know how much these sites are valued by local people, and we know the history of them and the way generations have shopped at the Market. This action will allow us to protect that history, combining the best of the old and the best of the new as the city centre evolves and moves forward.”
The plan will be discussed at a meeting of the Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change on 14 March.