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Old June 2nd, 2012, 10:14 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by NewTroll View Post
If you read the planning application, English Heritage indicate that they would like the 'bullyard' to be retained. The rate we're going, the ****ers will list the ******* whole place and we'll be saddled with it. Frankly, I'd like to see every single brick laid by Gibson and his successors torn down, crushed, and re-used to line sewers.

I'm not convinced by this whole scheme. It's mainly centred around the market... I can't see that being hugely attractive to prospective tenants. Not the sort of tenants they are aspiring to, something maybe a bit more attractive to those with disposable cash to spend. If anyone exists like that any more. I'd rather they turn the market into something else (A huge food court!) and build a proper square market somewhere else. Or just say **** you to English Heritage and destroy the ******* thing.

They haven't got a developer signed up yet, and aren't even expecting this to start for two years.

I have to say, in the past we've had discussions here about reconstructing the old city, and I've always been against that. BUT... having seen the fiasco of recent years, and the endless shitty projects that have made Coventry resemble a car park with a precinct in it, I'm beginning to think that this is a good idea in a limited way, and by that I mean recreating was was the heart of the pre-war city:

a) Recreate Broadgate pre-1940 (Layout and some buildings - obviously you couldn't recreate the medieval stuff.) and reinstate a landmark building on the site of the original Owen Owen.
b) Recreate the old Smithford Street running from Broadgate down to Spon Street. (There are plenty of photos, so some of the better buildings could be reconstructed, others could be new.)
c) Recreate the street layout where Smithford Street joined up with Spon Street (Maybe creating a proper 'square' lined with buildings and frontages.
d) Lower the whole ringroad and rebuild it as European style boulevards with wide roads, parking and blocks of buildings that relink up all the city centre's old streets to the new boulevards...

I frankly think it's time to give up Gibson's plan. It's clearly not worked, and Coventry is one of the most ridiculed and despised city centres in the country.

The precedence for this? Middleburgh in the Netherlands was rebuilt after the war, and in Germany some cities are demolishing post-war mistakes and reconstructing old streets (I visited one earlier this year.) Plenty of old squares and streets in Europe were reconstructed alongside modern developments.
Apart from the levelling of the ring road I can't see that being particularly cost effective.

They're changes at massive expense with only minor layout changes really. They aren't going to do much to make people want to visit the city or retailers/services etc want to set up there.

Redoing Smithford St is just turning it the axis of the precinct a few degrees - is that really worth it? Yes, it'd link up better with Spon St but what exact benefit is that? Spon St still ends up a virtual dead end.

I don't think old buildings should be recreated on the whole either. Moving existing old structures further out into the centre to recreate a bit of the 'atmosphere' of old Coventry would be fine but if you're going to rebuild new you may as well mainly go for stuff larger than the old buildings.

Opening up of Broadgate again would definitely be preferable because it cuts so many routes off, but I don't see the point in rebuilding it 'as was', when it was arguably little more than a crossroads. The potential for this area as a central hub, focal point and meeting place is much greater than that.

But the ring road being remodelled would make a massive difference to potential visitors. My sister started a new job at a company thats relocated from Kettering. A few people have decided to try travelling and all those that have have all said how much they hate the ring road and will now avoid it like the plague. And if they're doing that they therefore have to be avoiding the city centre.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 10:35 PM   #62
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No, Broadgate wasn't just a crossroads, it was a proper street that just happened to be where most of the city's main routes connected with. It was the city's main meeting point. They just destroyed it and turned it into a lifeless square. Besides, either side of Smithford Way there would be tons of land for big cheap malls. Broadgate WAS rhe city's focal point back then.

You miss the point completely. With the ring road lowered and turned into a road lined with blocks, Spon Street would be reconnected and no longer a dead end. It would perhaps link up to a boulevard lined with buildings that may house businesses, secondary retail or leisure facililties. Anything... In fact... Housing, even. My proposal is quite simple: restore Coventry back to a city with an urban grid. It may be different to the pre war one, but it is the lack of this grid that has killed the city in my opinion.

I didn't say rebuild it as it was - I said recreate the layout and links with surrounding street plus maybe recreate any notable buildings... If there were any. Certainly keeping the style of the high street to continue would be a plus.

Frankly, what we've got now simply does not work. The only problem with the old city was the small roads - rather than pedestrianise, they chose to demolish. These days it would be pedestrianised not demolished. Now we have a useless square at Broadgate, a useless square outside holy trinity linked to a useless square on the Burges. A complete mess. When you visit towns with proper squares it really brings home how shit and dreary Coventry has become.

The ring road is easy when you've used it for a while. It's the people who use it like a motorway are the problems - wankers, the lot of them.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 01:08 PM   #63
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http://www.coventry.gov.uk/news/arti..._plan_approved

Does anyone else think that less than 8 weeks is a bit "quick"? I know that is a positive thing in itself, but is it really?

Troll's dreams of the Gibson plan being scrapped look even more grim?
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 02:15 PM   #64
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They're obsessed with doing something 'different', yet I can't see what's so different about this plan - it's just rehashing the precinct and altering the layout slightly in an 'attempt' to get it to work. What does 'different' mean, anyway? How about something that 'works' rather than vague and muddled ideas that maybe if we link this precinct to IKEA a bit better, something will somehow improve. There's absolutely no evidence in the plans that the link between IKEA and the precinct will create footfall, and there's also a tenuous idea that there'll be loads of footfall from "bishopsgate" to the precinct. I find that highly dubious, as large supermarkets exist to suck people in, not create business for surrounding streets! Their business model is to close down the competition, not create footfall for it. They want to sell you that CD, DVD or book, not allow you walk to Waterstones or HMV to buy it. It's why Borders failed on retail parks dominated by supermarkets.

The problem with Gibson's plan as built is that it virtually ignored the old city and tried to impose a new layout that has never really fit in with what is around it - it always feels to me as if someone's dropped another town centre onto the remains of the old city. Originally, the plan was to pretty much replace the whole city centre with a new layout, but it was scaled back... drastically. Maybe if they'd gone ahead with this whole plan it'd be a bit more coherent (But would be a truly dismal place - imagine the whole city centre looking like the precinct & Coventry University! And Gibson wanted to demolish virtually everything pre-war and replace it with a Plymouth style grid of dual carriageways.).

I can't get excited about another shopping development. You don't have to be Einstein to realise that the city simply cannot attract retailers.

I wonder if they'll get a developer signed up for this?

I have my own thoughts on how Coventry will develop in the future, and I don't think it's going to be good.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 02:28 PM   #65
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I wonder if they'll get a developer signed up for this?
Well the news article seems to suggest the big boys are in talks (Bull Ring, Torchwood and Bristol something or other?), it's just a case of wether they can justify having another retail led development in place, when you can go to Solihull or Birmingham??

***EDIT: I just thought I forgot to add that I think that Coventry should be about entertainment, music, art and creativity. There are so many artful people in Coventry and some great music talent, we could do more to promote that. Instead we get a shit City Centre and the only festival we host is the Godiva festival, full of chavvy drunken youths and main stage aside, grime and rap music.

Last edited by phoenix1043; June 3rd, 2012 at 02:31 PM. Reason: forgot to say something
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 02:38 PM   #66
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Well the news article seems to suggest the big boys are in talks (Bull Ring, Torchwood and Bristol something or other?), it's just a case of wether they can justify having another retail led development in place, when you can go to Solihull or Birmingham??

***EDIT: I just thought I forgot to add that I think that Coventry should be about entertainment, music, art and creativity. There are so many artful people in Coventry and some great music talent, we could do more to promote that. Instead we get a shit City Centre and the only festival we host is the Godiva festival, full of chavvy drunken youths and main stage aside, grime and rap music.
I agree with that, although to be fair, the council did try to built an arts centre a few years back. A real shame, as if that particular facility was in the city centre it would provide a huge evening boost and perhaps encourage businesses to set up around it - as it stands, they can't, and it's a bit of soulless experience using Warwick Uni. Drive there. Park. Go to gig/show/etc. Drive home. It's a fabulous centre, but I wish it was more central. Maybe it's central to its clientele, though?

I'm not against this new development, by the way, I just don't think it's that good - average, in fact. And it's only an outline plan. I'll be more interesting when/if they get a developer and sign up a tenant for the anchor store. Until then, it's just hot air. I know a thing or two about hot air!:-)
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 03:40 PM   #67
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I'm not against this new development, by the way, I just don't think it's that good - average, in fact. And it's only an outline plan. I'll be more interesting when/if they get a developer and sign up a tenant for the anchor store. Until then, it's just hot air. I know a thing or two about hot air!:-)
Totally and I think that you're right, only the real nitty gritty plans will unveil any real insight. The hot air has to cool down though and I can confidently say that, with the right outlets/venues, it could be a major boost for the City of Coventry.

The building that they show in the CGI's for the proposed "Coventry Picture house", should be amended in the next stages to be an entertaintment venue of some description, perhaps encorporating a decent casino and something glam instead of grim.

I do hope they re-visit the idea of opening up the river, as a river running through our City again will most definitely be a great summer walking/shopping/eating out activity.
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Old June 5th, 2012, 06:31 PM   #68
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In some of the plans it looks like the current BHS unit is going to be split into smaller units. So perhaps the new anchor unit will be for BHS to move into?
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Old June 5th, 2012, 07:19 PM   #69
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No, Broadgate wasn't just a crossroads, it was a proper street that just happened to be where most of the city's main routes connected with. It was the city's main meeting point. They just destroyed it and turned it into a lifeless square. Besides, either side of Smithford Way there would be tons of land for big cheap malls. Broadgate WAS rhe city's focal point back then.
The 'street' known as Broadgate was tiny! It literally only ran for about 100yards, and would in fact probably only have been about the length of the frontage of Cathedral Lanes. While it may have had frontages etc on it it's hardly big enough to make much more of. CL is about as big as they could build behind it. It became the central focal point because of the roads that connected to it, and reconnecting those roads should form the backbone of any plan.

And while there is a strong economic argument for buildings around there due to the high footfall (it's what led to CL in the first place) it would still hide the crown jewel(s) of the city centre of the two(three) churches almost side by side. To continue to hide this view would be criminal. If you own a painting by a master you don't hide it behind a wardrobe! Having such a picturesque view to people to stop by and have a rest could lead to those people spending a few more hours in the city centre instead of going home, so by NOT bulding there you actually end ujp making more money due to people extending their stay. It's not exactly the same but when in Leamington I often go and sit in the gardens for a bit and then carry on. Without it being there I'd probably go home instead when I got a bit tired.

You always make the point about the elevation difference (which is 1m so when you factor in people's height the entire thing is moot anyway) and the service yard off Pepper Lane, which may well be a problem but much easier and cheaper to solve than what you're suggesting.

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You miss the point completely. With the ring road lowered and turned into a road lined with blocks, Spon Street would be reconnected and no longer a dead end. It would perhaps link up to a boulevard lined with buildings that may house businesses, secondary retail or leisure facililties. Anything... In fact... Housing, even. My proposal is quite simple: restore Coventry back to a city with an urban grid. It may be different to the pre war one, but it is the lack of this grid that has killed the city in my opinion.

I didn't say rebuild it as it was - I said recreate the layout and links with surrounding street plus maybe recreate any notable buildings... If there were any. Certainly keeping the style of the high street to continue would be a plus.
I see your point about the boulevard and Spon St, but again it just isn't cost efficient to knock down the entire precinct and surrounding buildings just to turn it a couple of degrees on its axis to line up with Spon St and High St again. It shouldn't have been realigned in the first place (especially seeing as the view of the spire has been covered up with escalators and ramps) but it has so thats the reality to deal with.

Surely it'd be easier to build a 20 yard road from the current precinct end to line up with Spon St further down if you wanted to reconnect the two? OK, a few of the older buildings would need to be moved (and could fill in some of the gaps along the street) but this would still be cheaper.

And I assume you can't mean reconnecting ALL the old roads across the new boulevard -there's about two dozen of them! That really would bring the entire thing to a grinding halt. OK, it would spread out the traffic on roads like Holyhead Road etc a bit and relieve the burden on them which just aren't wide enough, but those would still carry the bulk of traffic due to the connections to the A45 etc.


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Frankly, what we've got now simply does not work. The only problem with the old city was the small roads - rather than pedestrianise, they chose to demolish. These days it would be pedestrianised not demolished. Now we have a useless square at Broadgate, a useless square outside holy trinity linked to a useless square on the Burges. A complete mess. When you visit towns with proper squares it really brings home how shit and dreary Coventry has become.
You are quite right about this, but the fact is they WERE demolished, and to recreate it even in part would be a massive undertaking at huge expense and wouldn't bring people back into the city centre or entice investors/offices/retailers etc for it to be cost effective IMO.

But the squares are a major annoyance, not meerly due to the sheer number but the inexplicable placement of them. Create a square making a focal point of the third spire? No we'd rather create two behind each other 20m down the road with no significant meaning or interesting features around them! Baffling.

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The ring road is easy when you've used it for a while. It's the people who use it like a motorway are the problems - wankers, the lot of them.
That's the point - when you've used it FOR A WHILE. If you're trying to entice people to visit, are those firt time visitors going to think "That ring road was a bit of a nightmare but I'll get used to it so I'll keep coming back" or "I'll go somewhere else next time that's easier to comprehend"? It's going to be the latter. It has to be fathomable from the very start, not once you've used it for a couple of months
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Old June 5th, 2012, 09:33 PM   #70
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I agree with that, although to be fair, the council did try to built an arts centre a few years back. A real shame, as if that particular facility was in the city centre it would provide a huge evening boost and perhaps encourage businesses to set up around it - as it stands, they can't, and it's a bit of soulless experience using Warwick Uni. Drive there. Park. Go to gig/show/etc. Drive home. It's a fabulous centre, but I wish it was more central. Maybe it's central to its clientele, though?

I'm not against this new development, by the way, I just don't think it's that good - average, in fact. And it's only an outline plan. I'll be more interesting when/if they get a developer and sign up a tenant for the anchor store. Until then, it's just hot air. I know a thing or two about hot air!:-)
As you say the WAC is central to its main clientele, the students, but if that kind of captive audience was enough to warrant the building of a 3 theatre arts centre with a gallery and cinema, why isn't the student population of Cov Uni mixed with the residential population nearby enough to warrant another in the city centre?

Smaller cities than Coventry have two or three arts venues, and the likes of Birmingham have over half a dozen major ones. In the last few years they could warrant the building of the MAC despite already catering to this market with the Symphony Hall, Rep, NIA and to a lesser extent the ICC, as well as the O2 academy, Alexandra Theatre and the Hippodrome, and just outside the city they've got the NEC and LG Arena
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Old June 5th, 2012, 09:41 PM   #71
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I do hope they re-visit the idea of opening up the river, as a river running through our City again will most definitely be a great summer walking/shopping/eating out activity.
I would like this too. I'm a big fan of water courses through town/cities helping break up the monotony but the Jerde version of a 'fake' river is just ludicrous. It would either have to be the river itself or not bother, but I think I've read somewhere that that kind of thing can't be done because it's also used as a storm drain.
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Old June 5th, 2012, 11:31 PM   #72
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I would like this too. I'm a big fan of water courses through town/cities helping break up the monotony but the Jerde version of a 'fake' river is just ludicrous. It would either have to be the river itself or not bother, but I think I've read somewhere that that kind of thing can't be done because it's also used as a storm drain.
It's nothing more than a fast flowing stream. I'm a big fan of water courses in cities/towns, but not something as small as this - it'd probably cause more more problems with building work and also look somewhat ridiculous and is probably not even in its original course. I don't understand why there so much local obsession with it. London and other cities are riddled with culverted streams like this, and I believe there may be more than one under Coventry. I'm sure that there was something under the old Hippodrome site and I think there's also another stream that joins up with the Sherbourne under the city centre somewhere. I saw a film someone took of the tunnel a few years back and vaguely recall another tunnel joining the main tunnel.

I believe Nuneaton also has a stream running under it. You can see it at one point in the town centre. It's also quite a lot bigger than the Sherbourne.

Maybe recreating 'pool meadow' by flooding the whole area again would be a better idea! Shame the canal basin is so unused. Poorly developed area, IMHO.

PS: CovAD, I never mentioned moving the precinct. The existing layout of Smithford Street is fairly close to the precinct layout. I'm just suggesting that it be converted back into a more conventional street that might replicate some of the old city's look and feel. Jerde showed exactly how to make the precinct link up better with the surrounding streets.
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Old June 5th, 2012, 11:40 PM   #73
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As you say the WAC is central to its main clientele, the students, but if that kind of captive audience was enough to warrant the building of a 3 theatre arts centre with a gallery and cinema, why isn't the student population of Cov Uni mixed with the residential population nearby enough to warrant another in the city centre?

Smaller cities than Coventry have two or three arts venues, and the likes of Birmingham have over half a dozen major ones. In the last few years they could warrant the building of the MAC despite already catering to this market with the Symphony Hall, Rep, NIA and to a lesser extent the ICC, as well as the O2 academy, Alexandra Theatre and the Hippodrome, and just outside the city they've got the NEC and LG Arena
Warwick Arts Centre's main clientele is not students. It's aimed much more at a 'middle class' demographic, and not a student audience. Do you get the mailings from them? I can't imagine students rushing to the classical gigs, the jazz gigs and the likes of 70s folk/rock band 'America!'. The only thing they do there I can see appealing to the students are the odd comics, but the rest is a fairly highbrow mix of stuff. I'm quite disappointed at the lack of gigs there these days. I used to go there quite a lot. I wouldn't touch it when I was a student at the Uni - apart from maybe the odd comedian and movie, it's really aimed at a wider audience. There used to be a myth that Motorhead did a gig there once and they banned rock music (Although I've seen the Levellers there a few times, plus the late Kirsty MacColl on the last tour she did before was killed in Mexico.)

I think the point is that the venue proposed for Coventry City centre was virtually the same as Warwick Arts centre, aimed at a similar type of audience and highbrow sort of acts. Really, all we need is a venue for old acts like Jethro Tull & the Enemy and other people who could fill 2000-4000 seater/standing venues. Although getting some of these acts away from Birmingham/Wolves with about four venues for this type of band and a whole heap of other facilities is going to be hard. It'd require some extremely good promotion to make sure they get people in.

Coventry City centre used to have the main hall at the Poly. For years this was a music venue and attracted some big name acts in the 1980s. There was also a smaller venue for other acts.
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Old June 5th, 2012, 11:50 PM   #74
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In some of the plans it looks like the current BHS unit is going to be split into smaller units. So perhaps the new anchor unit will be for BHS to move into?
That would be pretty disappointing. BHS is a ghastly store - it's another chain, IMHO, that is tired and past its sell-by date, like C&A, Woollies, WH Smiths and a whole host of others.

I read this a while back:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15867924

I wonder if the council know something that we don't. IE lease is up in a few years and Arcadia are not going to renew it? They have been closing down BHS stores already and I don't think the chain is doing very well.

OR

They see this as new 'opportunity' to relocate?

I remember when they tried that store at Central Six - BHS Homeworld - it was actually a pretty decent store, although clearly a rip off of Habitat and quite expensive. It didn't last long.
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Old June 6th, 2012, 11:56 AM   #75
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That would be pretty disappointing. BHS is a ghastly store - it's another chain, IMHO, that is tired and past its sell-by date, like C&A, Woollies, WH Smiths and a whole host of others.

I read this a while back:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15867924

I wonder if the council know something that we don't. IE lease is up in a few years and Arcadia are not going to renew it? They have been closing down BHS stores already and I don't think the chain is doing very well.

OR

They see this as new 'opportunity' to relocate?

I remember when they tried that store at Central Six - BHS Homeworld - it was actually a pretty decent store, although clearly a rip off of Habitat and quite expensive. It didn't last long.

They attempted a bit of a rebrand a few years ago, new logo etc, but didn't carry it through.
I think they're lumbered with quite a few large anchor stores in City Centres (the one in the Arndale in Manchester is even more grim than the Coventry one).
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Old June 6th, 2012, 01:15 PM   #76
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I said that VHS homes stored would be a candidate for the flag ship store right at the start but new troll seemed to think is was a rubbish idea.
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Old June 6th, 2012, 03:42 PM   #77
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Warwick Arts Centre's main clientele is not students.
I
I disagree with that somewhat, since I know some students at Warwick and I have friends who are students in their early/mid twenties, who love Jazz music. Students don't always have to be young either, there are older students at universities these days so definitely a mix of ages.

Music is getting back to it's roots, more and more acoustic musicians are gracing the stages and Coventry has a lot of this on offer (from a range of ages). I believe you would be suprised how versatile the musical taste is in our City, actually.... :>
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Old June 6th, 2012, 04:34 PM   #78
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Would like to speak out as a student who would much prefer a jazz/classical music place over whatever you think we'd want; if anything students have been bloody pidgeonholed so much that we've lost a lot of places we'd actually enjoy - nightlife that doesn't revolve around getting plastered every night. Students spend all their time in nightclubs at night because nightclubs is literally all there is in a lot of cities. Speaking as a Wulfrunian, what other place is open at night in the city centre of Wolvo? Don't fall into that trap Cov, lol.

I also have America on my iPod :p
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Old June 6th, 2012, 09:41 PM   #79
CovAD
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It's nothing more than a fast flowing stream. I'm a big fan of water courses in cities/towns, but not something as small as this - it'd probably cause more more problems with building work and also look somewhat ridiculous and is probably not even in its original course. I don't understand why there so much local obsession with it. London and other cities are riddled with culverted streams like this, and I believe there may be more than one under Coventry. I'm sure that there was something under the old Hippodrome site and I think there's also another stream that joins up with the Sherbourne under the city centre somewhere. I saw a film someone took of the tunnel a few years back and vaguely recall another tunnel joining the main tunnel.

I believe Nuneaton also has a stream running under it. You can see it at one point in the town centre. It's also quite a lot bigger than the Sherbourne.

Maybe recreating 'pool meadow' by flooding the whole area again would be a better idea! Shame the canal basin is so unused. Poorly developed area, IMHO.
I admit it's not exactly the most impressive of water courses, but maybe I'm just so sick of the look of concrete covering almost every square inch even a little dribble would do

Recreating Bablake and Pool Meadow was one of those 'big ideas' mooted 5-10 years ago, and of course the marina idea was attractive if slightly unrealistic.

There is the basin and Swanswell Pool, but these are completely off the radar for most non-locals and underused by locals because they're not conveniently located (ie outside the ringroad). I guess thats what so useful about the gardens in Leamington, they're largely where they need to be. Coventry's aren't.

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PS: CovAD, I never mentioned moving the precinct. The existing layout of Smithford Street is fairly close to the precinct layout. I'm just suggesting that it be converted back into a more conventional street that might replicate some of the old city's look and feel. Jerde showed exactly how to make the precinct link up better with the surrounding streets.
I must admit I'm now struggling to get exactly what you envisage. I can imagine some of the things that you're probably talking about in termsof making it a street again, like getting rid of the ramp, escalator and Mercia House to improve the flow etc, and ditching the two tier thing (good for the upper precinct, unsure of for the lower) but what you mean by 'recreating the old city's look and feel' I'm less certain off.

I doubt you mean knocking stuff down and building recreations of old buildings? Far too expensive and you'd end up with less usable floor space (not that the city needs it) and smaller structures. Besides which I can't see those kind of buildings appealing to any bigger retailers/employers than we have currently. It might attract small businesses and creatives, but the cost etc would make it unaffordable to such people.

Neither can I imagine you mean 'mocking up' the current structures with facades to look old because the size of the buildings would clearly show them to be fake.

I'm not against reducing the significance of the precinct route -it's not a natural route at all, at least not anymore - and the main route for me should go north-south from the station to Pool Meadow or possibly beyond to the basin if a coherent plan for that area could be drawn up instead of the 'keep it industrial looking at all costs' mantra that seems to be hugely favoured at the moment. Ironic that that those routes were largely cut off for the sake of the precinct and Broadgate.
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Old June 6th, 2012, 09:50 PM   #80
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Warwick Arts Centre's main clientele is not students. It's aimed much more at a 'middle class' demographic, and not a student audience. Do you get the mailings from them? I can't imagine students rushing to the classical gigs, the jazz gigs and the likes of 70s folk/rock band 'America!'. The only thing they do there I can see appealing to the students are the odd comics, but the rest is a fairly highbrow mix of stuff. I'm quite disappointed at the lack of gigs there these days. I used to go there quite a lot. I wouldn't touch it when I was a student at the Uni - apart from maybe the odd comedian and movie, it's really aimed at a wider audience. There used to be a myth that Motorhead did a gig there once and they banned rock music (Although I've seen the Levellers there a few times, plus the late Kirsty MacColl on the last tour she did before was killed in Mexico.)

I think the point is that the venue proposed for Coventry City centre was virtually the same as Warwick Arts centre, aimed at a similar type of audience and highbrow sort of acts. Really, all we need is a venue for old acts like Jethro Tull & the Enemy and other people who could fill 2000-4000 seater/standing venues. Although getting some of these acts away from Birmingham/Wolves with about four venues for this type of band and a whole heap of other facilities is going to be hard. It'd require some extremely good promotion to make sure they get people in.

Coventry City centre used to have the main hall at the Poly. For years this was a music venue and attracted some big name acts in the 1980s. There was also a smaller venue for other acts.
I do get the mailings from them, and obviously they go for a wider audience from the local towns and Coventry as well because students aren't always there and it increases their revenue potential. But students are the easiest and nearest audience for them to reach who do spend a higher percentage of their disposable cash on entertainment than other groups. And uni students are more likely to try a more diverse number of things.

Do you really think they'd have put the venue there WITHOUT the uni being there?

Yes, there is a wide mix of stuff, but students are a very diverse group. People studying something like business possibly aren't going to enjoy the same things as someone doing an arts or creative based course. Plus I imagine they also like to cater for the older people at the uni, not just in terms of mature students but lecturers etc.
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