A huge part of Coventry City Centre is one step closer to regeneration after an additional £12.24 million has been approved by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The money will be used to unlock the Coventry City Centre South scheme, and help transform outdated areas of the city, including Bull Yard, Shelton Square, City Arcade, and Hertford Street.
It brings the WMCA’s total funding for City Centre South to £113 million. Coventry City Council is contributing £32 million.
The development, which covers 6.3 hectares of land within the city centre, includes 1,575 new homes. Of the 1,575 homes, at least 20% will be classified as affordable housing.
New retail and leisure spaces, a community health centre and potential for a hotel with 150 rooms in the second phase also make up the regeneration plans.
The project, considered a strategically important housing scheme, will start in 2024 and complete in stages, with the first homes expected to be occupied from 2027.
The first phase completion is expected to be 2031.
Developers The Hill Group and Shearer Property Group are working in partnership with Coventry City Council and the WMCA as the developers for the regeneration project.
City Centre South has long been an aspiration of Coventry City Council with the project seen as a ‘strategic priority’ for the WMCA. The project was first conceived in 2015, with the development receiving planning approval from Coventry City Council in January 2022. A further detailed planning consent is anticipated by Spring 2024.
The additional £12.24 million is needed due to increased costs resulting from the revised Government Building Regulations and Building Safety Act.
The project has previously benefited from a commitment to provide £98.75 million from the WMCA, with £21 million drawn to date which has been used to acquire existing properties, undertake initial demolition work, and fund planning costs.
The WMCA has already invested £39.4 million in the regeneration of Coventry railway station and £51.2 million into Friargate, one of the largest mixed-use developments in the Midlands.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change for Coventry City Council, said: “This is great news and the additional funding means that the developer can now get on site and get cracking.
“City centres are changing – and Coventry is no exception – so this investment will help to ensure our city centre can continue to prosper. It will create a thriving, bustling new community that can help to support shops and restaurants and leisure attractions. It will also create jobs and apprenticeships which is good news too.”
Andy Hill, Group Chief Executive of The Hill Group, said: “I’m delighted the additional funding has been approved by the WMCA for this exciting development. City Centre South is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver a game-changing project that will rejuvenate the city centre and spearhead the long-anticipated regeneration of this quarter of Coventry.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the WMCA, said: “This is an exciting time for Coventry as this brownfield redevelopment represents a landmark investment and significant regeneration opportunity – the likes of which this city has not seen for decades.
“The City Centre South scheme is proof that the Deeper Devolution Deal – agreed with Government in March 2023 – is delivering results on the ground by empowering us with the autonomy to align with the local needs of Coventry residents with new apartments and office spaces.
“It’s great to see a vibrant new district come to life in this historic part of the city and I’m looking forward to visiting it once completed.”
Cllr Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Council and portfolio holder for housing and land for the WMCA, said: “This significant investment in Coventry will I’m sure help the city centre thrive and it’s great to see WMCA being able to support the City Council with their vision for the town.
“We want our investments to provide the best quality of life for residents, creating homes and communities that are safe and affordable. This additional money will ensure both, and I am sure this project will bring about a new decade of opportunity for Coventry.”
Find out more about the scheme by watching the below video.