Building Resilient, Balanced Town Centres : a successful case study

Eating Out in Coventry

Location: Coventry

Coventry, by their own admission, had a selection of mismatched, low-end catering and street trading units around their city precincts. The local authority wanted to address this and provide an aspirational offer on their city's streets as well as increase revenue from street trading generally.

New public seating was installed in key areas to allow people to sit down and enjoy their food, and applications from new traders were chosen with a specific balance of products and services in mind rather than simply wanting to fill space. A key change was the development of a food court within the public realm, with managed seating and a vibrant atmosphere. Street furniture was rearranged, emergency access routes reviewed and power was added in order to renegotiate contracts with existing tenants. The addition of power also created a better atmosphere, removing generators and allowing appealing to a wider selection of high-quality traders. Vacant street trading spots were also bought into this food court to create atmosphere and use opportunities currently available to the local authority to make a fast impression. An attractive rental and marketing structure was also put in place to encourage new and existing businesses to adopt the new regime, which everyone did.