The concept of a plan that forms the basis of the Transforming Nuneaton programme will be shared with local businesses at a meeting of the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce this Friday,
This will begin the process of seeking business feedback, interest and, in due course, investment. This is the start of the Councils’ engagement process and conversations will continue with a wide range of sectors including transport providers, health and residential developers.
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council have been working together in preparing a long-term plan for Nuneaton town centre that aims to transform the town centre into a vibrant centre offering diverse choices for shopping, leisure, entertainment, travel, employment, education and living.
This builds on work relating specifically to the Vicarage Street and Abbey Street regeneration opportunities, extending the forward thinking to the whole town centre and how the town centre interacts with its surroundings.
The highly conceptual aspirational plan is intended to showcase a vision of what could be achieved, over a time scale of around thirty years, with the aim of encouraging developers to see the potential the town centre has to offer, and to encourage large scale private investment to build on the commitment of the two Councils.
It does not represent a plan for what development will actually happen, or where. That level of detail will need to emerge later on through discussion with developers once they have engaged in the process.
Fundamental principles underlying the vision include:
- The creation of key gateway points in to the town which invite people in and make it easy to navigate
- Introduce a mix of uses within the ring road, including residential, generating town centre vibrancy and additional footfall to retail offerings
- Celebrating the history of the town through highlighting heritage assets and creating a sense of place
- Improving the pedestrian experience, especially for those arriving by public transport
- Creating attractive views into the town by re-orientating buildings so they look out on to the ring road
Both public and private investment is already underway as part of the Transforming Nuneaton programme with current improvements at Coton Arches roundabout, the sale of Church Street car park for a McCarthy and Stone development, and £7.5 million of financial support having been earmarked for the programme by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The aim of the aspirational plan is to build on the confidence this will bring for further investment by expressing a vision of the much greater potential that can be achieved.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council reiterated the ambitions for Nuneaton. She said: “We share all partners’ ambitions of creating a vibrant and modern town that will be ideal for businesses and visitors as well as residents. The Aspirational Plan aims big but it needs to be if it is to match our ambitions for the town. While it is a work in progress and not set in stone, it does reflect the vision that all partners have to make a sustainable and long-term difference to Nuneaton.”
Councillor Julie Jackson, Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council said:
“These are really exciting times for Nuneaton. This is an aspirational plan and it reflects the huge ambitions that all partners have for the town centre and surrounding area. But as well as being aspirational, we want it to be inspirational. We are at the early stages of the transformation and are looking to create impetus among our residents, our partners and businesses who might look to relocate to the area. We need everybody to join with us on this journey if we are to achieve all that we hope to.”