Plans for Creative Quarter in Leamington are ready for investment

Spencer Yard, a site for part of the planned Creative Quarter in Leamington.
Spencer Yard, a site for part of the planned Creative Quarter in Leamington.

Ambitious plans to develop a new £31 million Creative Quarter in Leamington could take a major step forward this spring.

The proposal, which builds on the town’s strengths as a centre of creative industries and national Silicon Spa reputation – will be showcased at a major European property event.

Victoria Colonnade in Leamington

Victoria Colonnade in Leamington

And it hoped that the international exposure will attract investors to come forward to bring the plans to life.

Warwick District Council is seeking a regeneration partner to bring forward plans to restore and develop the northern part Old Town, including Spencer Yard and the Royal Pump Rooms and create new spaces and facilities for creative industries – and around 300 jobs.

That search will see the plans showcased at the MIPIM property show in France between March 15-18.

The four-day show attracts more than 21,000 delegates from across the globe and sees cities and regions marketing development opportunities to all sectors of the property industry.

Warwickshire has partnered with Coventry and its MIPIM Partnership will see a group of companies and organisations fund its presence, run a stand and host a number of events.

The council is hoping that the regeneration programme will see the restoration of several key buildings, radically improve the transport routes and environment from the railway station to the town centre and also create a much-improved gateway to the town.

It is hoping to win £13 million of public funding but attracting a regeneration partner with experience of niche or complex projects is key to the success of the scheme.

Bill Hunt, deputy chief executive of Warwick District Council, said: “We have a thriving creative community in Leamington Spa, and our digital gaming companies have a national and international reputation which is constantly growing.

“We know there is potential for that to grow and to continue to bring a positive impact to the local economy.

“The area we are looking at is in need of substantial regeneration and contains landmark buildings that need to be preserved or restored and we see that work and the creation of a Creative Quarter as a natural marriage.

“We want to unlock the commercial and cultural potential of what is an important but underdeveloped area. It is badly in need of investment to re-establish its economic value, character, and functionality and this can be done through careful land assembly, imaginative building, remodelling and refurbishment.

“At the same time it would open up a range of under-utilised or empty buildings for redevelopment, unlocking much-needed employment space in the Old Town area and providing important growth and retention space for the creative and digital sectors.

“MIPIM is the premier commercial property exhibition and conference, and attracts regeneration companies and experts from across the world. Coventry and Warwickshire’s presence will ensure our scheme gains an international profile and we hope that will in time attract interest.”