A greener Coventry city centre is on the way

A commitment has been made to replace every tree that has been removed as part of regeneration work in the city centre.

As part of the current work to revamp Coventry city centre, a number of trees have recently been felled in three areas.

Future plans for the Upper Precinct, Smithford Way and Market Way include plenty of new plants, greenery and seating areas as part of the work to help make the city centre ready for UK City of Culture 2021 and leave a lasting legacy for local people.

Coventry City Council has said that removing the trees was necessary to allow access to utilities and clear the area where improvements are taking place.

Improvements have so far seen the removal of the green escalator and the Upper Precinct will soon see repaving, adding new water features and over 1,000m2 of new planting, which will include new trees.

Across the city centre, approximately 50 new trees will be planted by the end of 2020 and the wood from the felled trees has been donated to a local school for their outdoor classroom.

Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, believes the removal of the trees, although unfortunate, is essential to enable much-needed improvements.

He said: “The plans to improve the Upper Precinct, Market Way and Smithford Way have widespread public and cross-party support and will make a real difference as we get ready for our year in the spotlight as UK City of Culture in 2021.

“The plans have been widely publicised and have met with great excitement about the positive changes. The alternative was to leave things, such as the escalators into West Orchards, in place which was not an option that any of us wanted.”

Councillor Patricia Hetherton, cabinet member for city services, said: “I want to reassure residents that there will be plenty of greenery in the city centre by the time all the work is done.

“Our aim has always been to create a more vibrant, cleaner and greener city centre for residents and visitors, especially ahead of Coventry being the City of Culture in 2021 as well as leaving a lasting legacy, and so we’ll make sure to plant two new trees for everyone we have removed.”

Bull Yard and Hertford Street will also see further improvements with the city centre’s street food traders, who are currently located in Market Way, being relocated to Hertford Street. Bull Yard will see a new children’s play area, new lighting and also a new water feature.