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Future face of our city; 'BIG PICTURE' EXHIBITION BRINGS TOGETHER ALL THE AMBITIOUS PLANS.

THE glittering future of Coventry's city centre is unveiled today as, for the first time, all the key developments are drawn together for the 'Big Picture.'

An exhibition of pictures and models in the Herbert Art Gallery shows the extensive programme of regeneration undertaken by the city council and private investors to ensure Coventry is brought into the millennium with a series of developments designed to enhance the city's heritage and bring it up to date.

For the first time, people can see a 3-D model of the Lower Precinct development, an ambitious pounds 38million programme which aims to breathe life into one of the most run-down areas of the city centre.

Work will start next February, and is due to be completed by autumn 2001.

The precinct from C&A to Boots will be covered with a glass roof, and there will be a new entrance leading to the renovated indoor market.

The lower level will remain open at all times, creating a buzzing night scene with new restaurants and bars.

Traditional features, such as the neon murals and landmark circular cafe, will remain in place.

Cllr Bob Waugh, chairman of the economic affairs policy co-ordinating committee, said the whole package of developments, totalling over pounds 100 million, would bring Coventry back to the forefront of modern architecture.

Cllr Waugh said: "It was one of the most modern city centres when it was designed and built after the war.

"Things have changed, it has got a bit tired, but it is still the heartbeat of the whole city and something special is happening here.

"I like to think of it as bringing together our past, present and future - our heritage is being enhanced and we are building the heritage of our future."

The exhibition, which runs until September 26, also features a countdown of projects already started and those in the pipeline.

Cllr Waugh added: "I think this, more than anything, will let people really get a feel for what is happening in their city, and show them the whole picture of things to come."

Cash hitch assurance

BOSSES of the company working on the pounds 38million development of Coventry's Lower Precinct are confident the scheme will go ahead on schedule, despite delays in securing financial backing.

London-based development and investment company Arrowcroft is planning to start work early next year.

Development director Daniel Carter said the scheme was "on track" and he was "confident" work would start on schedule.

Martin Bullock, city council assistant director of projects, said: "Although the final legal arrangements have not yet been completed, Arrowcroft is prepared to carry on spending money on design work because it is confident of getting the funding so the programme dates do not slip."
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Cuthbertson, Hayley
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 11, 1999
Words:456
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