Businesses are being urged to capitalise on Nuneaton and Bedworth’s improving economy by feeding into an ongoing major project aimed at revitalising Nuneaton town centre.
Members of the North Warwickshire Branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce met at the Eliot Park Innovation Centre on Barling Way to receive an economic update from Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council on the borough’s economy, while regeneration adviser John McGuigan discussed the progress being made on the Transforming Nuneaton initiative.
Transforming Nuneaton is a long term scheme aimed at boosting economic growth and jobs, rejuvenating the town centre and further improving the quality of life for residents.
The scheme is a partnership between Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council, using funding provided by the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).
It’s been revealed that wages of residents across the borough have risen by £30 per week year-on-year, which is above the West Midlands average for the first time since 2014 – though weekly wages of workplaces in the borough itself have risen by £80 year-on-year.
John McGuigan, regeneration adviser for Transforming Nuneaton, said: “The data indicates that relative to other areas in the sub-region a great number of people travel out of Nuneaton and Bedworth for work, but we hope Transforming Nuneaton will be able to change that in the long term by encouraging people to live in the town as well as work here.
“We’ve been talking to all the different sectors over the last 12 months and we now have proposals and ideas for how beneficial change and development should be pursued in Nuneaton town centre.
“All the details and opportunities are on WCC’s Transforming Nuneaton website, and we’d encourage everyone to look at this. Unlike some conventional plans, our proposals are descriptive not prescriptive and we want to develop our dialogue will all the key partners who, together, can make real things happen.”
“Private and public sector organisations feeding into our plans are key to ensuring we maximise the long-term potential of Transforming Nuneaton.
“Town centres of the future need to have a vibrant blend of housing, employment, education, health, retail, arts, culture, leisure and entertainment if they are to succeed in an ever-changing world, and that’s what Transforming Nuneaton is all about.”
Members also heard about a campaign Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is leading called “Give An Hour” – urging businesses to donate an hour of their time to one of the 78 schools and colleges Coventry and Warwickshire to help young people with their career choices.
John Nollett, of Atherton-based Pressmark Pressings Limited and a former President of the Chamber, chaired the meeting and said the session underlined the potential that is yet to be unlocked across the region.
He added: “It is encouraging news to see wages on the increase for both residents and employers in Nuneaton and Bedworth, and when you take into account the economic benefit that the execution and legacy of Transforming Nuneaton will bring, this economic news provides a solid foundation for the region to build upon.
“We had representatives in the room from international companies such as HORIBA MIRA through to smaller town centre retailers such as Joco Interiors – and it’s this sort of collaboration we are wanting to see moving forward to help us maximise the potential of North Warwickshire.”
For more information about the Transforming Nuneaton project visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/transformingnuneaton