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Key support in place for town to push forward regeneration.

KEY figures in the international development industry have offered to support efforts to transform Nuneaton town centre.

Warwickshire County Council showcased at MIPIM key sites in and around Nuneaton town centre which could be developed for mixed-use and retail.

The council delegates assembled a panel made up of key figures in investment and development, government officials and a representative of the Northern Powerhouse, and all gave their views on what steps should be taken to make development happen.

The sites, which have been earmarked by Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council, are the car parks and land opposite the Justice Centre on Vicarage Street (1.67 hectares), Abbey Street car park (1.4 hectares), Nuneaton bus station (1.16 hectares) and the square outside of Nuneaton train station.

Monica Fogarty, strategic director for communities at Warwickshire County Council, said the session had provided a clear way forward - but that success would depend on local commitment.

She said: "We wanted an honest appraisal and that is what we got.

"At the moment, we have the sites and a will to make this happen but we are at the starting point so to get such a level of expertise has been a massive help.

"What was made very clear is that we have to develop a masterplan which sets out a vision for the whole of the town and includes these sites.

"Doing that will require a sizeable commitment from the Borough Council but certainly the feedback we received is that it is essential.

"We also discussed ways of what is needed to kick-start any development and the different financial models that we could look at.

"That element is something these people specialise in and they certainly made us aware that there are several new models out there which might work.

"And most refreshingly they all offered to maintain the advice and support they showed at this meeting for the long term and to visit the town if they could be of help."

But Fogarty added that the MIPIM property show, which attracts more than 20,000 property delegates from across the world, underlined the fact that the area had to promote itself to the industry.

She said: "It has been clear that while some people in the investment and development world know of south Warwickshire because of towns such as Stratford, Leamington and Warwick, they have far less knowledge when it comes to our patch north of Coventry.

"And unless we do that initial selling job effectively, we stand very little chance of attracting the level of investment and the sort of developers needed to make any scheme become a reality."

The Coventry and Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership is made up of companies and organisations who fund the area's presence at the four-day show.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 24, 2016
Words:464
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