A COMMUNITY Wellbeing Hub could replace an existing multi-storey car park in Leamington town centre.
Warwick District Council (WDC) is set to further consider the future of the Covent Garden car park which is “fast reaching the end of its useable life” according to the authority.
A report showed the nine level car park, built in 1960, is suffering from structural issues – chiefly alkali-silica reaction, more commonly known as concrete cancer – which could cost millions of pounds in maintenance and repair costs.
So council chiefs have resolved to create new proposals for the regeneration of the “important part of town” which includes looking at demolishing the car park and replacing it with a purpose-built Community Wellbeing Hub.
Organisations which have already expressed an interest in being part of such a hub include GP services, associated health services such as mental health support and South Warwickshire Citizens Advice.
There is also the possibility of the Job Centre re-locating and The Post Office has voiced interest.
WDC – which had been considering redeveloping the site and relocating its offices there before the proposal was dropped in 2019 – could also provide some services from a potential hub, as could Warwickshire County Council.
There could also be options to create new car and cycle parks.
To enable proposals to be properly considered, WDC’s ruling cabinet has agreed to commission a detailed feasibility study. Residents and businesses will also have a chance to have their say.
WDC leader Andrew Day said: “We’re determined to renew and repurpose this important area in our beautiful town.
“The upper decks of the old car park have been closed for some time and we’ve resolved not to waste public money patching-up a building that is no longer fit for purpose.
“Working with the Leamington Transformation Board, we’re keen to invest in Covent Garden for the area to be more attractive, supporting our town centre and offering good reasons for us all to visit.”
The car park will remain open for business, with no decision or major changes made until the feasibility work has been completed, which will potentially be early next summer.