Demolition will open up long-lost city cen­tre view

DEVEL­OP­MENT TO RE-OPEN LINK BE­TWEEN HERTFORD STREET AND BROADGATE

Coventry Telegraph - - NEWS - By LAURA HART­LEY News Reporter laura.hart­ley@reach­plc.com

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

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