The consultation kicks off today, Monday, May 23 and will run for four weeks until Monday, June 20.
It includes both virtual and physical events and you can go to: 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 developing an outline planning application for the scheme to be submitted to NBBC.
This application will cover the principle and layout of the development on the site, including the demolition and replacement of the existing library.
The team believe delivering a new library and business centre 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 shopping 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 building will offer a public café and a new pocket park, as well as a state-of-the-art office environment.
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.
There will be 25 per cent affordable homes 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 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.
Cllr Kristofer Wilson, leader of the 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 the 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”.
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 four-week public consultation. A live webinar will be held at 6pm next Monday, May 30. 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 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, June 8. To register for either event, members of the public are asked to visit the website given above or email the project team at [email protected]