Plans for a new £5m food hub have been unveiled for Coventry.
Shearer Property Group has bought the Cathedral Lanes shopping centre in Broadgate and plans to create a new food and drink quarter.
Built in 1989, the 65,000 sq ft shopping centre is in front of Coventry Cathedral in the heart of the city centre. The new owners plan to have the first phase completed in time to have restaurants and bars operating by Christmas 2015.
Shearer specialises in urban regeneration projects and has worked in towns and cities including Bath, Cambridge, Newbury, Weymouth, Shrewsbury and Swindon. The company says it has already attracted interest from several leading restaurant brands not currently operating in Coventry.
On Coventry Telegraph ’s website there is a small poll inviting you to nominate which brands that you would like to see in the centre, which suggest Yo! Sushi Five Guys and Wagamama.
Is it too much to hope that there will be some independents in there as well as the usual high street chains? Trinity Leeds has managed it with their mix of 30 cafes, bars and restaurants that are household names which sit alongside a permanent area for street food traders in Trinity Kitchen.
With the recent opening of Fargo Village and launch of Eat Street market on Coventry University’s campus, the city is making the right moves to encourage new, independent food businesses into the city. There is the appetite for more, but it remains to be seen if this thinking is extended into the city centre too.