RESTORATION of the former Coventry Evening Telegraph building is among projects to have been awarded £3.7 million in loans from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
Complex Development Projects Ltd was awarded £2.82 million to secure ownership of two sites in the city centre which offer 8.2 acres for redevelopment.
CDP plans to transform the former Coventry Telegraph offices in Corporation Street into a boutique hotel, featuring a bar and restaurant, alongside residential units.
These plans follow initial proposals for the offices to be demolished.
Meanwhile, £960,000 was awarded for the acquisition of the former National Grid gas works in Abbotts Lane.
The 5.5 acre site is located opposite the Belgrade Plaza and is the biggest vacant site in the city.
Coventry City Council said in a press release the site has a number of potential uses which are being explored by CDP.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “These two sites are extremely important and will, in different ways, make a significant contribution to the economic growth of the city centre.
“The former Coventry Telegraph site will bring something to the city that it doesn’t currently offer while the former National Grid site is of a scale that has the potential for a whole host of uses.
“What is perhaps most encouraging is that these sites, derelict for so long, are now attracting investment and this undoubtedly demonstrates the rising confidence in Coventry.”
It is hoped the schemes will be complete in time for Coventry’s bid to be named UK City of Culture in 2021.
Ian Harrabin, managing director of CDP, said: “It is unusual to find two sites of this size so close to any city centre and with such potential for regeneration.
“The purchase of the land has given us the confidence to work up proposals for a start in 2017 on two major schemes. This would not have been possible without funding from the CIF, which has unlocked the potential to develop these sites in time for City of Culture 2021.”
The 1950s offices are a city landmark and recently featured in an Historic England book on the city’s post-war architecture.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle said: “I’m really pleased that this money has been secured for Coventry. Hopefully it’s the start of lots more to come.
“The plans for the much-loved Telegraph building and the interest there has been in the pop-up art space shows just what potential it has – it will make a great boutique hotel.”
The CIF is a £70 million commercial development set up by the WMCA and provides short-term loans to private sector developers.
It aims to unlock a further £1 billion in private sector investment over the next ten years.
Nick Oakley, Finance Birmingham’s senior investment director, said: “We are delighted to support CDP in its acquisition and redevelopment of these two key city centre sites.
“Coventry is undergoing significant regeneration and these projects will further enhance the city centre environment.”