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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December, 2003, 08:31 GMT
City's 50m facelift revealed
A 50m facelift for Coventry city centre which has taken six years to complete finally opens on Friday.

The Phoenix Initiative, which has finished three years late, features Millennium Place, an open plaza capable of hosting outdoor entertainment in the heart of the city centre, with the 40-tonne Whittle Arches towering above.

The scheme has created a walk-through from Coventry Cathedral to the Coventry Transport Museum and four public gardens.

The project will be opened by Coventry-born England World Cup Rugby hero Neil Back.

Chris Beck, director of the Phoenix Initiative, said it was fitting that such a local hero would mark the opening of the project.

'Reinvent itself'

He said: "The Phoenix Initiative is a wonderful scheme that will help to transform the face of the city centre and it is fantastic that a Coventry kid will open it.

"The Phoenix Initiative has taken Coventry, with its rich thousand year history, on into the future and is another example of how the city continues to reinvent itself.

"It is a wonderful scheme that everyone can enjoy and has created something special for generations to come."

The Phoenix Initiative has also provided the opportunity of restoring some of the city's historic buildings such as the old Blue Coat School and Swanswell Gate.

To celebrate the opening a weekend of events has been planned for Millennium Place with Atomic Kitten appearing on 13 December.

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