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Plans are in for a digital transformation

Published on Wednesday, 16th March 2022

Planning application has been submitted for an innovative digital skills centre as part of the Abbey Street Development in Nuneaton.



Plans have been submitted to Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council for the construction of a Digital Skills and Innovation Centre in Nuneaton town centre. The state-of-the-art teaching facilities will be located on Abbey Street, forming a new campus operated by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, subject to approval by the college board.

The project will help to grow the overall skills base and career opportunities in Nuneaton, with a focus on access to digital skills training and support for the hospitality sector. The new building will include a live training restaurant that will also be open to the public. Over the next 10 years, the proposed college campus is expected to serve over 2,600 students, support 290 business start-ups and boost the economy by £13.4 million.

The new facilities will bring skills and education to the heart of Nuneaton as part of the wider Transforming Nuneaton Programme. Funding for the programme was secured from the government’s Towns Fund in 2021. The campus site and its surrounding public spaces will form a key part of the town centre’s regeneration aspirations by diversifying the offer on the high street and providing more regular and sustainable footfall for new and existing businesses.

The submission of the full planning application by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and its strategic development partner, Queensberry, follows a pre-application public consultation in January when members of the community were invited to review the proposals and have their say, both online and during a live webinar.

Celebrating the submission, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council Leader, Cllr Kris Wilson said, “I’m delighted these plans for the Digital Skills and Innovation Centre have been submitted. The wider Abbey Street schemes is such an important part of the Transforming Nuneaton ambition and this milestone is further evidence of the progress we are making in regenerating our town. The proposed new college campus in particular is going to be a huge asset for our town centre, helping give the people and businesses of Nuneaton and farther afield access to high-demand skills.”

David Henderson, Partner at Glenn Howells Architects said, “We are delighted to be part of the team for the new Digital Skills and Innovation Centre in Nuneaton. This will be a catalyst in the transformation of Nuneaton town centre and provide a landmark facility that supports local skills and entrepreneurship. Sitting at the heart of the new Abbey Street masterplan, the project showcases the skills of students to the wider community – with a student run restaurant and bistro facing onto the new public square, and the refurbished arcade delivering a base for business incubation.”

Rob Hughes, Senior Development Manager at Queensberry said, “The Digital Skills & Innovation Centre is a fantastic addition to the Abbey Street development and is an excellent complement to the proposed facilities that will be provided once the whole development is completed. An enormous amount of hard work has gone into securing funding as well as developing a high quality design. The new college site will be a vital part of the transformation of Nuneaton town centre.”

The application has now been validated by the council, instigating the statutory consultation period which means statutory consultees and members of the public now have until 5 April 2022 to review the final plans and submit further comments ahead of determination by the planning committee. The application number is 038706, and it can be viewed by visiting the council’s website.

The application is due to be determined by the council’s planning committee in the summer.



About Queensberry

Queensberry is a market-leading, design-focused development manager working on urban regeneration schemes that transforms destinations. Queensberry help local authorities and private investors reinvent their town centres and buildings so they become better places to spend time in. This means looking at every project individually providing innovative solutions to redevelop and reposition existing urban spaces and unlock potential.

Its diverse team, with expertise in development management and construction, commercial, leasing and marketing work for an impressive list of clients including local authorities and some of the UK’s most active investors. Queensberry’s reputation is built on 30 years’ cross-sector expertise, innovative design and focus on delivery. Hospitality, retail, offices, leisure and residential all form part of their track record, while their latest projects involve reimagining buildings to make way for medical centres and educational facilities.

Projects include Heart of the City, Sheffield; The Glass Works, Barnsley; Kirklees Cultural Heart, Huddersfield; Freshney Place, Grimsby; Borough Yards, Southwark; Angel Central, Islington; Abbey Street Regeneration, Nuneaton, The Mall, Walthamstow, Exchange Ilford, Greater London and Metquarter, Liverpool. It has previously been instrumental in delivering numerous award-winning developments including Corn Exchange, Manchester; Victoria Square, Belfast; Southgate, Bath; Tunsgate Quarter, Guildford and Friars Walk in Newport.