The national significance of Coventry’s post-war architecture has been recognised with eight places in the city listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England. They are:
- Former Hotel Leofric, Grade II
- Former Woolworths building, Grade II
- Former Locarno Dancehall – now the Central Library, Grade II
- Former British Home Stores, Grade II
- Levelling Stone, Grade II
- Broadgate Standard, Grade II
- Marks and Spencer, Grade II
- North & South Link Blocks and Piazza, Grade II
These newly listed buildings form part of the first, and among the largest, post-war city centre developments to be planned in the country.
The innovative scheme for the precinct includes the earliest example of a shopping centre in England that separated cars and people, with a confident, kind and imaginative approach to public spaces for everyone.
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said:
“The reinvention of Coventry after the Second World War and the vital role that its post-war architecture played in restoring pride and confidence was renowned internationally. These listings recognise a vitally important period in our national life, and places that have now come of age and will continue to play an important part in the evolving life of this great city.
The buildings, built between 1948 and 1958, form the centrepiece of Coventry’s post-war reconstruction and reflect the spirit of a re-born city. They deserve the recognition and protection that listing brings. The generation that fought the Second World War lost a great many of their buildings and special places. They had to rebuild and reshape their England, and they did a remarkable job.”
Commenting on the plans for the Upper Precinct, Duncan Wilson added:
“These listings mean that the scheme for the Upper Precinct which already has planning permission will now need Listed Building Consent as well. Historic England will advise on the proposals as quickly as possible when the formal application is made, but the decision on any application lies with the local planning authority, Coventry City Council.”
Coventry is a designated Heritage Action Zone and has also been named UK City of Culture 2021. The city’s heritage and rare architecture have an important role to play in celebrating what is special about Coventry and in helping to bring about economic prosperity for those who live and work there.