Plans to open the view into Broadgate from Upper Precinct are set to be approved next week as cabinet members of Coventry City Council convene to decide on the proposals.
If approved, the plans will see the current building occupied by Ernest Jones demolished, reinstating a much-loved view of St Michael’s tower at the Coventry Cathedral ruins, not seen since the 1970s.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle said: “It’s been our plan for a while now to restore Upper Precinct to the way people so fondly remember, including the view from the Precinct towards the Cathedral.”
It is the city council’s vision to combine the best of old and best Coventry, by opening up the space and continuing the ongoing surrounding repaving work and installation of water features and foliage.
Cllr O’Boyle continued: “We’re starting to see real changes to the city centre now and a big part of that has been the removal of buildings like Coventry Point and the former Nationwide building that always felt out of place and which blocked really rather special views.”
The demolition work could be completed as soon as spring 2021.
Work to upgrade the city centre continues
The news comes as public realm work continues to occupy much of the city centre, with the Upper Precinct in the process of being transformed, after the demolition of the glass-enclosed escalators, from dull clutter to an inviting open space, with tasteful decor, plants and seating.
Similar work is underway in Smithford Way and Market Way, following the demolition of Coventry Point, where repaving is currently taking place.
Though, while the work itself is welcome, the city council has faced criticism for turning parts of the city centre into a maze of construction walls, littered with excavators and giant, yellow “please observe social distancing” signage – something made increasingly difficult by the space taken up by contractors.
Part of the regeneration project also saw the demolition of the former Nationwide building, opening up the view from Hertford Street into Broadgate, which has been widely praised.
More recently, Hertford Street and Bull Yard have seen a new gold-coloured, resin-bonded gravel surface laid, with new seating, new lighting and a water feature installed too.