WMCA invests £90m in Coventry

The current Coventry Railway Station

WMCA invests £90m in Coventry

Coventry is set to get more than £90 million towards two landmark city centre schemes from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The authority will pump £51m into Phase 1 of the Friargate development scheme next door to Coventry railway station and has also agreed to invest a further £39.4 million towards the £82 million cost of redeveloping the station.

The funding was agreed at a meeting of the WMCA board in Birmingham today (Friday, March 9).

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “It is fantastic news that the WMCA is to help fund two developments that are of huge importance for Coventry.

“Exciting schemes such as these are part of the reason why Coventry is a city on the up, especially with it winning UK City of Culture in 2021.

“The more we can do to stimulate economic growth in the region with schemes like this to create jobs and prosperity, the better for people living and working here.”

Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council, said: “I’m really pleased that we have secured this funding.

“Our station is the fastest growing outside London and we are keen to help ensure Friargate gets moving. This cash will help with this, so it’s great news.

“Coventry is a fine city at the very heart of the UK so we need to make sure that our transport links are fit for the future so we can continue to attract investment and create jobs for local people.

“Coventry is changing all the time and these two projects are at the very heart of our plans and central to our ambition to ensure our city continues to flourish.”

The Friargate Masterplan is a mixed-use redevelopment scheme on 26 acres of land next to Coventry railway station that will provide a new business district for the city and create up to 15,000 jobs once complete.

Phase One comprises five office blocks and a hotel, with the first office block, One Friargate, already complete and occupied by Coventry City Council.

The Coventry Station Masterplan project will transform the current Grade-II listed railway station, which has barely been changed since it opened in 1962 and is now operating beyond passenger capacity.

The scheme will see new infrastructure including a second station building, a 644-space multi-storey car park and a new footbridge connecting all platforms.

Completion is scheduled for 2020 and the new-look station will be able to handle more train services.