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Heart of England Co-Operative Society's landmark site in Abbey Street purchased by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council

Published on Monday, 21st January 2019

The Heart of England Co-operative Society and Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council have today confirmed that the Society’s former department store in Abbey Street has been purchased by the Council.

This enables the site to be secured for future development as part of the Transforming Nuneaton Programme.

The landmark site, which has been occupied by the Co-op since 1929, has been the subject of lengthy discussions between the Borough Council and the Heart of England Co-operative Society. The purchase has been complex, given the scale and historic nature of the property, together with the associated legal intricacies.

Whilst there are no specific plans for the development of the site in place at this stage, its strategic location within the town centre makes it an important acquisition for the future and provides the Council with the opportunity to influence the shape of the town centre’s offer.

Cllr Julie Jackson, Leader of the Borough Council said:

“This is truly excellent news - it paves the way for the development of a key town centre site.

"The location of the former Co-op building is strategically important for the Transforming Nuneaton programme. We have a strong vision for the future of the town and this particular site has a significant role to play in the town’s future redevelopment.

"At present there are no firm plans for the site’s redevelopment but as the Transforming Nuneaton programme seeks to develop the commercial, leisure and residential elements of the town centre, it is safe to say that our aspirations stretch far beyond retail.

“Whatever the future holds for this site, the Borough Council’s purchase ensures that the interests of the town and the community will be served.”

Commenting on the sale Ali Kurji, Chief Executive of the Heart of England Co-operative Society said:

“Our former Nuneaton department store has always played an important role in our own 180-year history and indeed has served as our head office for the past 90 years.

“We are delighted that an agreement has now been reached with the Borough Council and particularly pleased that the site will continue to play an important part in the town’s future.”