Major town centre regeneration plans move forward

Exciting plans to transform the northern end of Abbey Street given the green light by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council’s Cabinet.

Exciting plans to transform the northern end of Abbey Street have been given the green light by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council’s Cabinet.

Cabinet members met last month (14 October) to approve a draft masterplan for the Abbey Street development, which includes the Heart of England Co-op Society’s Head office building, land on Abbey Street and Queens Road and the Abbey Street Car Park.

This decision means that the Council, in partnership with town centre regeneration specialist, Queensberry, will now progress to the design and consultation phase, with plans to consult local residents and businesses to be announced in the coming weeks.  

The masterplan will include proposals for a cinema, hotel, new homes and shops as well as car parking.

Cllr Julie Jackson, Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said: “This is a very exciting and hugely important step in our vision for ‘Transforming Nuneaton’, which is even more important than ever as we plan for the economic recovery. Over the coming months we will be working closely with our private sector partners to bring forward plans for a thriving new town centre destination that the people of Nuneaton deserve and can be proud of. It will be a place where people spend their leisure time during the day and the evening and will be attractive to people of all ages. We’ll also be seeking people’s views before any decisions are made.”

Last year Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council approved the funding to acquire the Heart of England Co-op Society’s Head office building and land on Abbey Street and Queens Road, adding to its ownership of the Abbey Street Car Park.

The proposed development has the support of the overwhelming majority of borough members.

Paul Sargent, CEO and Owner of Queensberry said: “This is a hugely important commitment for Queensberry and Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council. Abbey Street is the opportunity to bring forward a truly mixed use development that will kick start the wider regeneration ambition for the whole town centre. We are including a host of uses such as residential, hotel, work space, leisure, retail and a food hall. With an eye to a constantly changing world we are also considering healthcare and educational facilities within the space.”

“The Queensberry team has UK wide experience working with local authorities, and their communities, remixing urban centres in a sustainable manner. We will focus our energy on developing a viable high-quality design that will transform Nuneaton. I personally look forward to working closely with the Council and to a start of construction next year.”

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council and portfolio holder for economic development said: “Warwickshire County Council fully supports the draft masterplan for the Abbey Street development area and, indeed, contributed £1.5m towards the purchase of the Co-Op department store so that these ambitious plans could become a possibility.

“Like our partners, we are very excited by the prospects of a revitalized Nuneaton Town Centre. This masterplan takes forward many of our ambitions for Nuneaton’s town centre, its businesses, visitors and, most importantly, its residents.”

Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) provided Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council funding from the Government’s Getting Building Fund (GBF) to support the purchase of the Co-Op building on Abbey Street.

Sean Farnell, board director at the CWLEP and chair of the My Town Nuneaton Board, is pleased the scheme has been approved and is moving forward.

“It is fantastic news to see a project like this, that is going to be a huge positive impact for Nuneaton, moving forward,” he said.

“This is an ambitious scheme that will provide a bright and thriving future for the town centre that will be filled with many new leisure facilities.

“The Getting Building Fund, which is contributing to the wider Transforming Nuneaton scheme, is focused on boosting the economy, supporting businesses and creating jobs and this scheme highlights the benefits of partnership working.”