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Archaeology work underway ahead of Coventry regeneration

The Hill Group and Shearer Property Group (SGP) ), have commenced archaeological works ahead of the development of City Centre South.

City Centre South is a landmark £450mn regeneration scheme that will transform Coventry city centre. These essential preliminary works will ensure the heritage of the site is understood, recorded, and preserved prior to the start of construction.

A team of archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology has begun a survey of the site with trenches taking place in various locations, starting in the Barracks car park before moving to Bull Yard and Shelton Square. The works are estimated to take seven to eight weeks to complete, and disruption to businesses and visitors will be kept to a minimum. The task will include the excavation of 23 trial trenches of varying sizes and depths, seeking to locate the line of the historic city wall as well as identify any other archaeological remains. Items of significance found during the works will be logged, protected, and covered for further investigation until the site has been cleared.

Hill and SGP are working closely with Coventry City Council and West Midlands Police to ensure that emergency protocols are in place should the trenching unearth any unexploded ordnance that remains as a result of the city’s bombing during the Second World War.

Andy Fancy, Managing Director at The Hill Group comments: “We are committed to carrying out the archaeological investigation works at City Centre South both safely and sensitively to protect any historical findings before the start of construction. These works are a routine part of the development process and essential due to the development’s location at the heart of Coventry’s historic centre.”

Visiting the site as the dig began, Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration, and climate change at Coventry City Council said: “I’m pleased that this work is underway – along with the work to relocate Shopmobility to a new location at Salt Lane car park it’s the first visible work on site.”

“This work to map and record information is important and Hill and SPG are very experienced so I’m sure it will be done efficiently and carefully with the data used to help support future stages.”

Almost a thousand homes have been given the green light in this first phase of City Centre South, including 200 affordable homes, along with space for shops, businesses, and public open space in a pedestrian-friendly quarter. The new development, designed by acclaimed architecture firm Allies and Morrison, introduces a contemporary style that takes its inspiration from Coventry’s heritage. Conveniently located within a five-minute walk of Coventry train station, the development forms a major element of the wider masterplan for the regeneration of the city.

Construction at City Centre South is scheduled to start in the autumn, with the first homes expected to be completed in early 2027.

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