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Former Co-op Art Deco building complete!

Published on Monday, 15th November 2021

Press release about the refurbishment of the former Co-op department store building in Nuneaton town centre


Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council celebrated the handover from contractors of the former Co-operative Society building in Nuneaton town centre on Friday.

Part of the ambitious Transforming Nuneaton programme, the landmark Queens Road building has benefited from a complete ‘top to toe’ refurbishment.

Friday’s special handover was attended by representatives from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Warwickshire County Council and Ashe Construction together with Marcus Jones, MP for Nuneaton, Arley and Hartshill.

Following on from the refurbishment of the ground floor last year to create a new retail unit let to luxury fashion retailer LABEL, the Council was able to press on with the remaining works which were supported by a grant of £895,630 from the Getting Building Fund administered by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).

A sympathetic restoration has been undertaken to ensure the preservation of original Art Deco features, whilst enabling the building to be brought back to life. Externally the building has benefited from a new insulated roof to increase thermal efficiency, replacement windows in keeping with the original style, and structural brickwork repairs.

Inside, a full refurbishment has taken place with many of the original finishes being retained where possible. Areas of the original parquet flooring have been cleaned and repaired and where this has not been possible modern alternatives have been used. In addition, a new lift has been installed to improve access and modern staff facilities provided to ensure a comfortable working space. The building now provides 4,200 square feet of flexible open plan character office/workshop space to suit a range of businesses.

Representing a small but important part of the Abbey Street development, the project sits adjacent to one of the key routes to the new public space which will be delivered as part of the scheme.

MP for Nuneaton, Marcus Jones said: “This project is a small but significant part of Transforming Nuneaton, and I am delighted that this government has committed many millions of pounds to our towns as part of its wider Levelling Up agenda. This is an exciting step on a long road which will restore the heart and pride in Nuneaton, honouring its history but also looking forward to a brighter future.”

Cllr Kristofer Wilson, Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council was delighted to see the building’s finalisation. He said: “It is a great day to see this small, but significant part of the Abbey Street development finalised. This is just the beginning of a fantastic plan to regenerate our Borough and ignite the potential within our town centres.

“Bringing elements of the former Co-op department store back into use demonstrates the Council’s commitment to retaining important parts of the Borough’s heritage so they can be enjoyed by future generations.

“It is wonderful to see new life being breathed into the building and there are many more exciting stages to come in this wonderful regeneration project.”

Portfolio holder for property and finance at Warwickshire County Council, Cllr Peter Butlin, said: “Bringing this landmark Art Deco building back to life is a fantastic achievement for all involved, and just one of a number of projects that will help provide Nuneaton with the economic boost it needs to become a stronger hub for the local community.

“The County Council made a very significant contribution to the funds needed to purchase the building. We recognise the importance of partnership working and investment in the town centre, resulting in the completion of projects like this, if we are to fulfil our ambitions to transform Nuneaton and bring new business opportunities to the town.”

Sean Farnell, board director at the CWLEP and Chair of the Nuneaton Towns Fund Board, said: “The Getting Building Fund was established to help projects that were ready to start immediately and it is great that an unused building has been brought back to life for the benefit of micro and small businesses in Nuneaton. These kinds of facilities are much-needed to help entrepreneurs on the first stage of their business adventure.”

Ben Wandless, contracts manager for Ashe Construction who carried out the work said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been involved in a project that will help breathe life back into Nuneaton town centre. It has been a pleasure to assist in sympathetically restoring such an iconic building and it now stands out as a centrepiece in the high street. 

“It is good to see that tenants are already well established on the ground floor and am sure it won’t be long until the whole building is fully occupied delivering new job opportunities to the local community.”