Since the War and the rebuilding of the City Centre, the Ring Road has been seen as a blessing and a curse. If you want to get from one part of the centre to another – simple, jump on the ring road and then off again to your destination in a few short stops. But City Centre retail development has been pretty much all centred within the Ring Road, and the pedestrian precincts, big shopping centres and big name shops have all made this their home – and not always left room for the little guys. The tiny back streets that characterise many city centres and provide cheap space for small independent shops has been lacking in Coventry, due to it simply not being there after the War. And with the area contained within the Ring Road itself not being that large, it is pretty much all seen as a prime location, with the end result that much of it is simply unaffordable for small businesses.
But building on the success of the Townscape Heritage Initiative in Far Gosford Street, the momentum generated by the restoration projects will be maintained by a series of further regeneration works and some exciting new projects… the City Centre is breaking out of the Ring Road.