A state-of-the-art library and business centre are being planned for Nuneaton, alongside up to 50 new family homes on Justice Walk in the town centre.
A public consultation opens today (Monday 23rd May) and will run for four weeks until Monday 20th June. The consultation includes both virtual and physical events, with members of the public encouraged to visit www.transformingnuneaton.co.uk to sign up for the events and provide feedback via an online form.
As part of the wider Transforming Nuneaton programme, Warwickshire County Council (WCC) and Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council (NBBC), supported by the Warwickshire Property Development Group (WPDG), are bringing forward an outline planning application for a new library and business centre, alongside up to 50 new family homes, on Justice Walk in Nuneaton town centre.
The project team is preparing an outline planning application to be submitted to NBBC. This application will agree on the principle and layout of the development on the site, including the demolition and replacement of the existing library.
Library and Business Centre
The team behind the scheme says delivering a new library and business centre in Nuneaton will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the town centre.
The new building will replace the existing Royal Mail Delivery Office and Wilko, and will act as an economic and civic anchor in a prominent position in the town centre, driving footfall to the town and delivering key services to Nuneaton’s residents and businesses.
The consultation website says the new civic building will:
- Create 200 jobs over and above those at the existing library.
- Support 120 businesses in its first 10 years of operation through the provision of office accommodation and WCC business support.
- Provide specialist support for start-ups, growing businesses, and SMEs.
- Boost the local economy by an estimated £15.8m in the first 10 years.
Even without the business centre and modern facilities, the existing library already attracts more than 150,000 visitors to the town centre each year, but in a location hidden away from the main retail area. In a more prominent location, with the addition of a business centre, the new library will attract a greater number of visitors – including business owners, staff and customers – all of whom will increase Nuneaton’s footfall and contribute to the local economy.
The new library and business centre will offer a public café and a new pocket park, as well as an impressive office environment, uniquely designed to drive business investment and attract new enterprises to Nuneaton.
The new landmark building will provide state-of-the-art library facilities in a welcoming modern environment, which can respond and adapt to the needs of its future customers and visitors, while always delivering high-quality public services.
The plans include electric vehicle charging and disabled parking facilities and will also enable more people with disabilities to visit Nuneaton town centre through the provision of a Changing Places facility.
WCC, NBBC and WPDG are all working with existing tenants and businesses to ensure the project minimises disruption and supports their future operations wherever possible.
New family homes
As part of the project, up to 50 new family homes are proposed for the brownfield land to the east of the new library and business centre, in place of the Justice Walk car park and the existing library.
25% of the new homes will be affordable and their design will allow for the retention of the Christadelphian Hall, as well as many improved views from the town centre towards the St Nicholas Parish Church tower. The new homes and residents will also provide further footfall into Nuneaton and assist in its transformation to a mixed-use destination.
The project will also open up Wheat Street as a priority pedestrian, cycle and public transport thoroughfare, rerouting traffic on Justice Walk, and supporting Transforming Nuneaton’s wider ambitions to make the town centre safer, more sustainable and accessible for all visitors.
Something for everyone
Speaking about the scheme and the launch of the public consultation, Cllr Kristofer Wilson, Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council said: “This project could be the jewel in the crown of the Transforming Nuneaton programme. It’s got everything we want to see in a regenerated town centre: something for business, something for existing residents, something for new residents, and new public open space for everyone.
“This will bring a disused stretch of brownfield land on a major route into Nuneaton back to life and greatly improve our town. The new library and business centre will be a civic asset all of us in Nuneaton can be proud of, while the new family homes will offer people of all backgrounds the opportunity to make this town home for the long term.”
Cllr Peter Butlin, Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property, said: “The future is now brighter for Nuneaton than it has been for decades. This investment in regenerating the town centre is part of an exciting wider programme that will truly transform Nuneaton for the better.
“At a county level, we want to see that change happening, and the benefits being produced, as soon as possible. Warwickshire is a big place. Projects like this demonstrate that we’re serious about levelling up our county so that every one of our towns is well positioned to take advantage of the growth opportunities to come and ultimately prosper in the short, medium and long term”.
Meet the project team
To share more information about the project and answer questions from the public, the project team is hosting virtual and physical consultation events as part of the 4-week public consultation. A live webinar will be held at 6pm on Monday 30th May. The webinar will include a presentation
and Q&A session. For anyone who can’t join live, the event will be recorded and uploaded to the consultation website.
For those people who would prefer to speak to the project team in person, the team is hosting a drop-in consultation event at the existing library on the corner of Church Street and Justice Walk from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday 8th June. To register for either event, members of the public are asked to visit www.transformingnuneaton.co.uk or email the project team at email@example.com