THE REVAMP of Coventry University’s city centre campus is now under way and will bring more green spaces and enhanced views of the Cathedral.
Starley Gardens, with striking open-air urban space which opens the campus for the local community and visitors to enjoy, was officially opened today by Coventry Lord Mayor, Coun Ann Lucas.
The university wants the area to look its best as the eyes of the world will be on Coventry from this weekend when it becomes the UK City of Culture for the next 12 months.
The innovative outdoor space features new pedestrian areas and landscape gardens and was created on the site of the university’s James Starley building, demolished last year.
James Starley is considered the father of the bicycle industry, which was once centred in Coventry.
Starley Gardens will have the capacity to host a variety of cultural events all year round, bringing activity and excitement to the campus, while helping to improve the social wellbeing and health of staff, students and the local community.
The next stage aims to close and demolish the Alan Berry building in 2022. It was built in 1963 and has a prominent position on campus overlooking University Square, opposite Coventry Cathedral. It currently houses the university’s Business Development team, Registry and the Vice-Chancellor’s Office.
The development plans focus on forming additional landscaping and a parkland area, promoting the university’s desire to open up vistas within the campus whilst providing high-quality, green spaces.
The plans will provide uninterrupted views of Coventry Cathedral from the university’s Arts and Humanities facilities on Cox Street, which are also currently being redeveloped.
The open landscaped area is planned to follow the demolition of the Alan Berry building. That will help form a pathway of parkland and quality urban routes through the campus and towards the new university HQ and centre of operations – that will be built on the site of the former Civic Centre buildings on Little Park Street.
Coventry University Vice-Chancellor, Prof John Latham CBE, said: “We’re delighted to have unveiled Starley Gardens as a boost to the city ahead of City of Culture celebrations getting under way.
“We see this as the first major step in our efforts to open up views of the beautiful cathedral in the city and to make our campus as accessible and visible as possible not only to our students and staff, but to the people of Coventry as well.”