Coventry 'rotating café' and gondola rides on wishlist for river project

River Sherbourne in Coventry
-Credit: (Image: Coventry Telegraph)


Plans have recently been unveiled to breathe new life into the former Illingworth building on Palmer Lane, with an 'arts cafe' being at the heart of a riverside redevelopment scheme in Coventry. However, the readers of Coventry Live are unconvinced.

The project, steered by Historic Coventry Trust and Coventry City Council, hopes to foster a buzz with an array of cafes, eateries and communal spaces for locals to unwind. The ultimate aim is to create a riverside area with restaurants and cafes as well as public spaces where people can enjoy the view - but public support is unclear.

Some offered ideas on how to make the scheme more attractive. But others just said it was a waste of public money.

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One of our readers, DavidM, said: "Please make the cafe rotate so that all diners get a view of the river. Gondola rides could be offered to attract tourists. Some swans on the river would add interest and provide a photo op."

Lordgodiva said: "For the love of God, you don’t need another arts venue when IKEA building's the focus for that… and already half empty and haemorrhaging money. The way ‘Coventry River’ is described is as if it was a great city river of the world like the Thames, Seine or St Lawrence through Montreal, Hudson through New York or a nice river walk like in city centre San Antonio, Tx.

"It’s some scummy river that was concreted over years ago. It’s like the ugly smaller twin of the Los Angeles River (as seen on many movies/tv). Coventry River project - another money pit in the making."

"Spend the money on extended car parking at Coombe Abbey. Something worthwhile. Focus activities on IKEA building, growing it - esp. as bought with borrowed money.

"Market and all other businesses turfed out for misguided CCS Project. A year's free rent to get them going. Hold it up as an arts/culture/entertainment/hospitality venue plus indoor market."

Tommann wrote: "This scheme is an absolute waste of money. The area is a service area for Primark and the businesses in Ironmonger Row, Trinity Street, The Burgess and Hales Street. Nothing is going to change that or the fact that the rear of commercial buildings are never as attractive as the fronts."

DavidM added some advice. "Sometimes not doing something is the most constructive thing of all," he said.

What part of Coventry would you redevelop? Let us know HERE or in the comments below.

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