Creative Quarter to get underway in Leamington

Interior of the United Reform Church in Leamington
Interior of the United Reform Church in Leamington

A home for creative businesses and pop-up and community events in Spencer Yard will be one of the first redevelopment sites going ahead as part of a phased delivery of Leamington’s Creative Quarter.

Warwick District Council’s Executive last night gave the go ahead for regeneration experts Complex Development Projects (CDP) to start the work ahead of the town hosting the lawn bowls and Para bowls during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

This follows two years of extensive discussions with WDC and public consultations with 400 individuals, stakeholders and businesses to agree ‘The Big Picture’ for the Creative Quarter.

Spencer Yard, already home to some of Leamington’s most highly-regarded creative businesses, will provide a range of spaces to cater for a variety of operators.

The existing buildings, including the Grade II Listed United Reform Church that is in disrepair following years of being empty, will be revamped to provide flexible workspace for creative industries as well as to facilitate and encourage the industry’s engagement with the local community.

Katie Harrabin, Senior Development Executive at CDP, said: “Since we signed the Collaboration Agreement in November 2017, the area of, and buildings identified within the Creative Quarter, have been changed to reflect the feedback we have received at numerous consultation events.

“We have recommended that landmark heritage buildings such as the Royal Pump Rooms and the Town Hall stay in the ownership of WDC or are transferred into a charitable trust to ensure that community access is maintained. WDC will be carrying out further consultation and working with the existing occupiers to progress plans for these buildings.

“We will also work with WDC to determine potential developments and look forward to continuing to partner with WDC on the other sites in the future.

“Meanwhile, there is a strong desire from the council and stakeholders to deliver improvements in the Creative Quarter ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and Spencer Yard is an exciting opportunity to showcase the beginnings of what the Creative Quarter has to offer by mid-2021.”

Bill Hunt, Deputy Chief Executive for Warwick District Council, added: “This is an important moment for the regeneration of Leamington and growth of our creative economy.

"The Council’s support for the Creative Quarter and the ideas presented by CDP enables us to move to the next stage of the Creative Quarter programme. We will continue to work closely with CDP to make these ideas a reality.”