Coventry Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - News Re­porter By CLAIRE HAR­RI­SON news@reach­

A HUGE firm is to leave its head­quar­ters in Nuneaton af­ter decades.

It has been re­vealed that the Heart of Eng­land Co-op­er­a­tive is to move its head of­fice from within the ar­cade off Abbey Street.

The firm says it has had ‘no choice’ but to move its whole HQ and has found a new home eight miles away in Coven­try .

The move comes just two years af­ter the flag­ship Co-op store, based just yards from the HQ, was closed.

In the firm’s an­nual re­port, it states: “For the past six years, the so­ci­ety has been in reg­u­lar dis­cus­sions with Nuneaton and Bed­worth Bor­ough Coun­cil about their plan to re-de­velop the town cen­tre.

“The so­ci­ety are cur­rently in ne­go­ti­a­tions for the sale of our head of­fice site.

“It is with great re­luc­tance that the so­ci­ety had no choice but to move out to new premises.

“We have been search­ing for some time for a new head of­fice build­ing in the Nuneaton area.

“How­ever, de­spite our con­certed ef­forts to find a suit­able site and premises in Nuneaton , we have not been suc­cess­ful.

“Con­se­quently we have had no choice but to re­lo­cate to the near­est avail­able location which meets our re­quire­ments.

“We have re­cently iden­ti­fied a site which meets our re­quire­ments just north of Coven­try at Whit­tle House, Cour­taulds Way, Coven­try, on the for­mer Cour­taulds site.”

Coven­try Tele­graph con­tacted the Co-op for a com­ment but the firm chose not to take the op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide one.

While the new location for the HQ has been re­vealed, there has still been no word on the sale of the iconic build­ing, in­clud­ing the iden­tity of the po­ten­tial buyer.

It was at the start of last month that Coven­try Live re­vealed that ‘ne­go­ti­a­tions’ were on­go­ing into the sale of the build­ing.

Gen­er­a­tions of fam­i­lies shopped at the store, which had a pres­ence in the town for more than 130 years, but its last day of trad­ing was on Satur­day, June 18 2016. A cam­paign was launched to try and per­suade Co-op bosses to have a change of heart, to no avail.

Ef­forts were also made by Nuneaton and Bed­worth Bor­ough Coun­cil , as well as the town’s MP, Mar­cus Jones , to per­suade bosses re­tain some of the store’s more pop­u­lar de­part­ments, such as so­fas and toys.

But their pleas fell on deaf ears and Art Deco build­ing, which housed ev­ery­thing from a food hall to electrics and the famed Santa’s Grotto at Christ­mas, was closed.

Hav­ing such a large build­ing stood empty has been a con­cern to the coun­cil and some of the emer­gency £200,000 pack­age to boost the bor­ough’s town cen­tres was spent on ‘shop jack­ets’ to spruce up the empty win­dows.

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