Some recent noteworthy news from the Coventry area for anyone who's been away for a while.
28th January 2014
Nissan are to use a Coventry company for the final assembly of their new Taxi for London. ADV Manufacturing plan to extend their premises at Exhall to enable the new vehicle to be launched later this year. The basic vehicle will be shipped from Barcelona and extensively modified here. At the same time an all-electic version is under development.
9th June 2011
A company in Exall has been chosen to manufacture the torch to be used in the 2012 London Olympic games. In fact 8000 of the torches will be made, one each for the torch bearers who will carry the flame on its 10 week tour of the country. The torch is due to pass Coventry on July 1st.
3rd June 2010
The Ricoh arena has been named as one of the stadiums to host the football matches of the 2012 London Olympics. The 32,000 seat venue was chosen due to building work planned for Villa Park. The Ricoh will be renamed the Coventry Stadium during the events.
9th February 2010
At last a story that is not another business failing. Amazingly, car production has returned to Coventry. Spyker, the company which recently reached a deal to buy Saab from GM, has begun making cars at the new CPP plant in Whitley. The C8 Aileron model was previously assembled in Holland from parts produced by CPP but now five of the £170,000 supercars will be built each week in Coventry. The move creates about 40 new jobs.
1st December 2009
Coventry Rugby Club has gone into administration with debts of over £500,000. It is the second time in a year that the club has had financial problems. It is hoped to find an investor to save the club but temporarily games will be played at the Ricoh Arena.
3rd January 2009
All the Woolworths stores in the city have now closed following the bankruptcy of the famous High Street name. Since the first store opened in 1909, selling everything for sixpence, the business has expanded to over 800 stores, all of which will be closed next week with the loss of 27,000 jobs. The city centre store opened in 1954 as one of the first in the new Precinct development.
19th December 2009
The Butts college closed it's doors to students for the last time today. Classes next year will resume at the new City College campus in Swanswell. The landmark frontage of the building which opened 73 years ago, will be retained and refurbished in the new development. The theatre will also be restored. The scheme includes over 500 apartments with office and leisure facilities.
14th May 2008
Coventry, the ninth most populous town in England, no longer has a head post office. The building in Herford Street, open since 1902, closed today. Despite widespread public outrage, cutbacks mean the city centre will now be served by a branch located inside the W H Smith store in the precinct.
26th March 2008
The Jaguar car company was finally sold today to the Indian automotive giant, Tata. After months of negotiations, Ford, the previous owners, sold the company along with Land Rover for over one billion pounds, hoping to offset it's loss making US business. As part of the deal, Tata also acquired the Daimler, Lanchester and Rover names.
11th July 2006
The first patients were transfered from Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital into the new hospital at Walsgrave today. The transfer of patients will continue for several days and then patients will be transferred from the old Walsgrave hospital. Both the old sites will then be redeveloped. The new building is built on ground at the rear of the old Walsgrave hospital and is nearly half a kilometre long and 5 stories high. It has been named the University Hospital and has over 1200 beds, 27 operating theatres, 7,000 staff and a helicopter pad. All services should be consolidated at the new hospital by the end of the month.
29th April 2006
H E Phillips, the hardware store in King William St, Hillfields closes after over 90 years supplying specialist products to customers in Coventry and beyond. The store opened in 1915 and numbered Winston Churchill amongst it's customers. It blames the fall in trade on competition from DIY superstores.
20th August 2005
The first game to be played at the new Ricoh Arena, saw the Sky Blues beat QPR 3-0. Despite having a capacity of 32,000, a crowd of 23,000 watched the game, numbers being limited as safety checks have yet to be fully completed. The first game at the stadium was originally arranged for August 6th but had to be re-scheduled when it became apparent the building work would not be completed. The stadium facilities include an events hall with a concert capacity of 8,000, a banqueting hall capable of seating 1,000, a restaurant for 100 diners and a hotel with 67 rooms, some of which overlook the pitch. Hopes of a railway station to service the Arena are now abandoned, but plans to get three quarters of fans to arrive by public transport seem to have worked well.
18th July 2005
The 110 year history of car production in Coventry came to an end today as the final Jaguar came off the production line at Browns Lane. Ford have transfered Jaguar production to the plant in Castle Bromwich and although jobs have been moved both to there and to Aston Martin at Gaydon, over 1000 jobs have been lost. The Browns Lane site has produced Jaguars since 1951 and at one time was the city's largest employer. It will however continue as the company headquarters.
30th April 2005
A capacity crowd of 22,700 saw the Sky Blues play their last game at the Highfield Road stadium and were treated to a goal bonanza when Derby were beaten 6-2. The first game to be played at the ground was in September 1899, and since then the statistics read:
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Goals for||Goals against|
15th April 2004
Greyhound racing returned to Brandon today after a £2 million reburbishment of the stadium facilities. Racing last took place there in 1986 and is scheduled to resume on four days each week. Speedway racing at the stadium continues.
13th April 2003
The poorly regarded White Street coach station closed today. For 30 years the area under the ring road has served passengers entering or leaving the city, but it's lack of facilities has long been a criticism. Coaches will in future use the Pool Meadow bus station.
17th January 2002
The Royal Navy frigate HMS Coventry has today been decomissioned. The ship was completed in 1987 but is now considered to be out of date. It is the sixth ship bearing the name in a line that goes back to 1658. The previous HMS Coventry was lost in the Falkland Islands conflict. The warship is one of five type 22 frigates that will be sold to a 'friendly' country.
The first new double-decker buses for over 12 years have entered service on the city's routes. All recent buses have been single-deckers and so the new vehicles in their smart red, white and blue livery dispel fears that double-deckers might soon disappear from the city. The vehicles are manufactured by Dennis, part of the Mayflower Corporation which has a plant in Coventry.
27th February 2001
The new Cathedral was damaged by a serious fire this morning. A cleaner first spotted the blaze at 8am in the basement and the building was soon evacuated. Over 70 firefighters tackled the blaze and kept it from spreading beyond the undercroft. However there is concern that the smoke that filled the main building may have damaged the Sutherland tapestry. The building was not protected by fire alarms and a public appeal has been made to rectify this situation.
27th January 2001
The C&A store in the lower precinct closed it's doors for the last time today. The chain is closing all it's stores in the UK due to falling profits. It is hoped that another retailer will fill the premises before the completion of the lower precinct reburbishment in October.
22nd April 2000
The Coventry area now has 8 digit phone numbers. The city is one of several regions including London to be given new area codes. The former 01203 code has become 024 and the old 6-figure numbers are prefixed with 76.
18th April 2000
Coventry's ice skaters had the opportunity to show their skills at the city's new ice rink which opened today. Skaters have waited many years since the plan for an ice rink in the city was first proposed. The 4200 seater Arena which is part of the recently opened SkyDome leisure complex is designed to be used as a part time rink. It opened to the public on April 15th for a basketball event and the site has been chosen for a series of matches by the English Basketball Association. It is also hoped that pop bands will also be booked to appear at the venue in future.
23rd April 1999
At a protracted meeting of the Coventry Health Authority it was decided that the new unified hospital for the city will be built at Walsgrave. This was chosen because of possible difficulties in developing a city centre site, which was the preferred option of the City Council. The 200 million pound project is not expected to be completed for at least five years.
4th October 1998
City Centre stores have got together to launch seven day trading from this Sunday. More than 80 shops have agreed to the plan in an effort to compete with out-of-town shopping parks.
26th September 1998
Jimmy Hill returned to Coventry today to vist a bookshop in the city centre. Crowds gathered at Waterstones (formerly Dillons) to catch a glimpse of the former Sky Blues manager who was signing copies of his autobiography "The Jimmy Hill Story". Earlier this year, Jimmy left the BBC to take up a new job with Sky TV at the age of 70.
7th September 1998
Councillors have relaxed their rules which insist that the City's black cabs should be black. Any colour will be permitted and cabs will also be able to carry advertisments. In many cities other colours have been allowed for some years but the favourite remains black.
7th July 1998
Parcelforce, part of the British Post Office, announces plans to build a pair of giant distribution hubs at Coventry Airport. They will cover about 400,000 square feet and be capable of handling 40,000 items an hour. The project, planned to be completed by the end of 1999, is said to be the largest distribution depot in Europe.
24th June 1998
One of Coventry's largest employers, GPT, formerly GEC Plessey Telecommunications, is to become part of Marconi Communications. The company is a world leader in digital telecommunications and employs over 3000 staff at it's plants in the city.
18th June 1998
The demolition of the landmark Gulson Hospital chimney completes the preparation for the building of a new library for Coventry University (formerly the Lanchester College). The new high-tech building is expected to be dubbed 'Coventry Castle' with it's array of turrets which form part of the ventilation system. The library is expected to open in 2000. The main building of the Victorian Hospital remains.
16th April 1998
The famous bronze statue of Lady Godiva on horseback in Broadgate has been given Grade II listed status by the Heritage Minister. The ruling prevents any change to the monument which affects it's character. Last December the central swimming baths which date from 1966 were also surprisingly listed as Grade II status for their "architectural merit", a move opposed by the City Council who had planned to redevelop the sports centre.
|Gone but not forgotten:|
|2015||Beryl Houghton photography||After 60 years in the city|
|2015||Co-op store, Corporation St.||Declining trade|
|2010||Royal Mail building, Bishop St.||Demolished for student housing|
|2009||Gibberd's men's outfitters||After 125 years in the family|
|2008||Belgrave Theatre fountain||Site to be re-developed|
|2008||Leofric Hotel, Broadgate||became Travelodge, now student flats|
|2005||Highfield Road stadium||Site re-developed for housing|
|2003||Massey Ferguson, Banner Lane||Site now housing|
|2001||Former Coventry Theatre||Demolished due to the Millennium Square development|
|2000||Fishy Moore's restaurant||Closed due to the Millennium Square development|
|1999||Odeon cinema, Jordan Well|| Formerly the Gaumont, closed; |
building bought by Coventry University
|1999||Lynes rambling & camping store||Declining trade|
|1998||Davies sports shop||Closed due to declining trade|
|1998||Akzo Nobel, Lockhurst Lane|| Formerly Courtaulds Fibres, closed; |
work transfered to Derbyshire
|1997||Matterson's department store||Closed; premises became part of the Motor Museum|
|1996||Owen Owen department store||Became Allders, closed 2005, now Primark|
|1993||Wickman's, Banner Lane||Bankruptcy|
|1992||Coventry Gauge and Tool||Became Matrix Churchill then bankruptcy|
|1990||Alvis works, Holyhead Road||Now retail shopping park|
|1983||Alfred Herbert, Edgewick||Bankruptcy|
|1982||Morris Engines, Courthouse Green||Now Sainsburys store|
|1980||Standard Triumph works, Canley||Now Sainsburys store|
|GEC works, Spon Street||Now SkyDome entertainment centre|
|My other Coventry interest pages:|
|  Car makers  ||  Corporation buses  ||  Cinemas  |