Community News From Around our Area
Coventry Has an Exciting Year Ahead Says West Midlands Mayor
The Mayor of the West Midlands believes Coventry can look forward to an exciting 2019 – with major developments taking place in the city.
Andy Street, who heads the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), says impressive economic growth in the area is driving real change.
“Coventry and Warwickshire’s economic growth is incredibly impressive and outstrips the rest of the region,” Mr Street said.
“The city has always been a hotbed of industry and innovation – just look at the way the local motor industry is embracing cutting-edge ‘driverless car’ technology. There is real growth here, and ambition too.
“But I think economic success is often best seen in terms of opportunities for young people, and youth unemployment in Coventry has now fallen to below 1,000,” he added.
That economic success can also be seen in the major developments taking place across the city. Work is about to begin on a major revamp of Coventry Railway Station, backed by WMCA cash, which will complement Coventry City Council’s impressive transformation of the area that links the station with the city centre and the Friargate development.
“This is a city on the rise and we want the station to be a fitting arrival place for residents and visitors,” Mr Street said.
“WMCA investment is also making the second huge office block at Friargate possible. We will see these exciting improvements take shape in 2019. The diggers are on site and the hoardings are up. The work is happening.”
Together, the WMCA’s investment in Friargate and the railway station amounts to more than £88 million, reinventing the city’s main arrival point in time for visitors to the City of Culture in 2021.
“I was pleased to have played my part in the City of Culture bid, by lobbying behind the scenes,” Mr Street said. “It gives Coventrians a wonderful opportunity to share in a great cultural experience.
“These are exciting times in Coventry, there is a real sense of change. There’s the technological renaissance, huge investment in the city and the building excitement towards the City of Culture – there are so many reasons to look forward to 2019 with real optimism.”