Demolition will open up long-lost city centre view
DEVELOPMENT TO RE-OPEN LINK BETWEEN HERTFORD STREET AND BROADGATE
A FORMER bank is set to be knocked down later this month – opening up a long-lost view of the city centre.
Nationwide moved out of the building under the Lady Godiva clock in Broadgate earlier this year to pave the way for the demolition.
The work will re-open the link between Hertford Street and Broadgate, a view which was lost when the archway was bricked up in the 1960s.
The demolition is the start of a £2million project to re-open a ‘dead end’ in the area underneath Broadgate House.
The route is set be opened up for the first time in almost 50 years by demolishing the Nationwide building and reestablishing the link between Broadgate and Hertford Street.
The Telegraph first revealed the plans in 2015, but the process has been a complex one with Coventry City Council needing to seek permission to remove the 1970s building and return the Grade II Listed Broadgate House building to its original design.
Broadgate House was one of the first buildings to be completed after the war and was part of the master plan created by the then city architect Donald Gibson. It is described as the best surviving building in the city of Gibson’s original plan and one of the few Festival of Britainstyle buildings remaining nationally. The Hertford Street-facing side of Broadgate House features sculptures of Coventry heroes, which have been largely obstructed from public view by the addition of the Nationwide building.
But the new scheme aims to make these figures a prominent feature once again.
It comes as the city centre is going through some major changes, and was announced when plans for regenerating the Burges moved forward.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle cabinet member for jobs and regeneration said: “The Far Gosford Street area has been totally transformed and this scheme would help us bring the area around the Burges back into life in the same way.
“It is a very historic part of the city centre and grant funding would allow us to give it the love and attention it needs to become a thriving part of city life once more.
“The city centre has improved so much in recent years, with new buildings, new restaurants and work to make it a greener, more pleasant place for everyone – and there is more on the way, with Nationwide set for demolition later this month, work on more new restaurants at Cathedral lanes well underway and plans for the Upper Precinct taking shape.”
This scheme would help us bring the area around the Burges back to life. It is a very historic part of the city centre. Cllr Jim O’Boyle
An artists’ impression of re-opened Hertford Street looking towards Broadgate
Looking from what was Hertford Street into Broadgate. The Owen Owen store (which opened in October 1954) is ahead in the distance and to the left of it is rising the Hotel Leofric in the course of construction
Hertford Street in the 1950s
As the area looks now