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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 09:24 GMT
Coventry 1bn redevelopment plan
Coventry city centre
The city centre has remained almost untouched since the 1950s
Coventry city centre is to get a revamp costing 1bn.

A Los Angeles-based firm of architects will oversee the biggest redevelopment of the city since it was rebuilt in the 1950s, following World War Two.

Jerde Partnership has previously helped redesign areas of cities such as Dubai, Budapest and Los Angeles.

Retailers and shoppers will be asked for their views on the plans, which are likely to see large areas of the city centre demolished.

Landowners and the city council have joined together to commission the scheme, which could more than double the number of shops in the city centre.

'Dated and tired'

It will be funded by a mixture of public and private money with Modus, which recently bought the West Orchards shopping centre, among the key players in the plan.

Most of the historic city centre was destroyed in 1940 by German bombing raids, most notably the night of the Coventry Blitz on14 November.

The city was largely rebuilt in the 1950s but the post-war concrete architecture has since been much-criticised.

Council leader Ken Taylor admitted that the city centre had "remained relatively untouched since it was rebuilt after the war".

"It was pioneering but now it's dated and tired and in need of a complete rethink," he said.

"This is the beginning of one of the most exciting transformations our city has seen in 50 years - this is what people have been asking for over the past decade, and the city is finally in a position to deliver the change," he added.

The council hopes the redevelopment will draw shoppers back to the city.

David Sheldon, associate vice president of the Jerde Partnership, said the redesign would aim to connect different parts of the city.

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