THE councillor responsible for regeneration in Coventry has been given a glimpse of the past, present and future at a landmark city centre scheme.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration at Coventry City Council, paid a visit to the former Co-Op building in Corporation Street, which is being transformed into ‘The Co-Operative’, a mix of high-spec apartments and offices as well as retail and leisure.
Work is underway on the development which will retain much of the iconic 1950s architecture while having a 21st century makeover.
Coun O’Boyle was given a tour of the former store by Neil Edginton, managing director of developer EDG Property, and was shown existing elements of the building that will be kept, saw old plans from when the store first became part of the Lower Precinct development at the start of the century and was given an insight into what ‘The Co-Operative’ will look like.
He said he was impressed with the plans and that it fitted perfectly with regeneration in the area.
“It was an evocative visit to the former Co-Op,” said Coun O’Boyle. “I, like so many other Coventrians, have great memories of the Sleigh Ride here each Christmas and it’s a building so many of us are very fond of.
“That’s why I am so pleased that EDG Property is being so careful to retain the feel and the history of the building – right down to calling it ‘The Co-Operative’ and keeping the existing lettering.
“This area of the city centre is undergoing a great deal of regeneration at the same time as being true to its history – ‘The Co-Operative’ is right at the heart of that and I wish the development every success.”
Potential buyers for the apartments will be able to make full use of a residents-only gym, a roof terrace and internal green ‘parkland’ area, and there will be a glass-fronted restaurant/retail outlet.
Neil said: “We have worked closely with councillor O’Boyle and Coventry City Council to bring forward a scheme that we believe is perfectly suited to Coventry’s growing aspirations.
“This is our first project in the city and we are absolutely taken aback by the real can-do attitude of the city – the feedback on ‘The Co-Operative’ has been extremely positive and, now work is underway, we are looking forward to delivering a fantastic new development for Coventry.”