The newest development in Abbey Street is named Grayson Place in heartfelt homage to Larry Grayson.
The newest development in Abbey Street, located right at the heart of the busy Nuneaton Town Centre, will be named Grayson Place, in honour of Larry Grayson, the prominent comedian, entertainer and national TV personality from the 1970s and 1980s, who made his home in Nuneaton.
The new name, chosen in consultation with the local community, marks a key moment for this development. Grayson Place is the first landmark project in the Transforming Nuneaton programme undertaken by Warwickshire County Council and Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council, with Abbey Street’s strategic development partner, Queensberry.
The redevelopment plans will see the addition of a unique blend of food and entertainment venues, that will ensure this new destination lives up to its namesake.
As part of the 2.3-hectare development, new leisure facilities, retail space, a food hall and cinema will be created alongside 30 new homes, new office space, education facilities, a hotel and carpark to create a vibrant new destination in the busy town centre where people can eat, meet, drink, shop, live and work.
Mike Malyon, Larry’s great-nephew, said:
“I am so pleased that Larry is being recognised by his hometown. He loved living here and is still warmly remembered by so many people.
“Larry was a familiar face on British TVs for many years and hosted the BBC’s flagship TV show, The Generation Game, routinely watched by around 20 million people every week when it was at its peak. How fitting that such a great entertainer should be linked in this way to a new entertainment destination in the town that had such a special place in his heart.”
Grayson Place is currently under construction with partners BAM Construct UK. Phase 1 of the scheme will open early 2024 with the launch of a new Hampton by Hilton branch – the first hotel ever to grace the town centre.
Located on the corner with the Jubilee Way, the new opening will offer 145 rooms as well as free parking for guests. The next phase of the project, bringing new leisure and culture facilities, a public square and a new town centre campus for North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College will complete in early 2025.
As part of the wider Transforming Nuneaton Programme, the development is set to boost economic growth and create a prosperous town centre.
The programme lays out the Council’s 10-15-year regeneration vision for the town centre, which aims to also create a state-of-the art library and business centre, up to 65 new family homes on Justice Walk, as well as a residential-led development on Bridge Street.
The scheme is also expected to create 400 jobs during construction and 1,500 jobs upon completion.
The scheme also forms part of the West Midlands Combined Authorities (WMCA) ambitions to build a more prosperous, fairer, greener and healthier West Midlands. Grayson Place has received funding from the WMCA to bring forward the first phase of the project.
Funding for the development also comes from the Government’s Future High Street Fund and Towns Fund and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said:
“The WMCA is investing more than £775,000 into the regeneration of Grayson Place which is set to bring a fantastic new town centre for Nuneaton. Its development is a key project in the on-going revitalisation of the West Midlands, benefitting from inward investment, the generation of new jobs and ultimately an improvement in the quality of life of those who live in the town.
“Our high streets and town centres have been through some challenging times over the last few years which is why the WMCA is backing Grayson Place and similar projects that can breathe new life into these important locations, helping them maintain their traditional role as the beating heart of local communities.
“This means moving away from being so retail-focused and instead looking to diversify with more homes, public services, offices, and start-up spaces, combined with better transport links and safety measures.”
Cllr Peter Butlin, Deputy Leader of the Council, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder, said:
“We are looking forward to seeing how the Transforming Nuneaton Programme will provide our town centre with a much-needed economic boost. We are confident that the regeneration will create a strong hub for the community whilst ensuring that the town reduces its impact on climate change. The programme will unlock a wealth of business and education opportunities, as well as pave the way to additional housing development and infrastructure.”
Cllr Kris Wilson, Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said:
“It’s an exciting time for Nuneaton as we finally unveil the new name for the redevelopment around Abbey Street, Grayson Place. We are pleased to share this milestone with the local community, who were consulted in the selection of an inspired new place name. Comedian and TV personality Larry Grayson was a proud Nuneaton local and a fantastic performer. It is fitting that, as Grayson Place becomes a new entertainment and leisure destination for Nuneaton, one of its most famous past entertainers will be remembered here.”
Rob Hughes, Senior Development Manager from Queensberry, said:
“As strategic development partner for the regeneration of Grayson Place we have been able to reimagine a town centre that has a genuine community focus and creates a place to live and a true mix of leisure, learning and employment spaces. We are thrilled to be working with Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council and celebrate this milestone with them as we look to the future, to bringing the new vision for the area to life.”
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council with strategic development partner Queensbury have worked with Glenn Howells Architects and BAM Construct UK to bring the vision for Grayson Place to life.