Landmark Nuneaton project named after Larry Grayson
"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.”
An exciting new development in Abbey Street, in the heart of Nuneaton town centre, will be named Grayson Place in homage to Larry Grayson.
Grayson was a prominent entertainer and national TV personality from the 1970s and 1980s, who made his home in Nuneaton.
The name, chosen in consultation with the local community, marks a key moment for the 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 will bring a unique blend of food and entertainment venues 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, 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 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 will open early in 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, including a bar, restaurant and fitness centre, 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 be completed 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 50 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.
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.
Cllr Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council portfolio holder for finance and property, 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.”
Meanwhile, to enable the Council and partners to forge ahead with their exciting Vicarage Street regeneration proposals, Wilko’s will be moving to the former Woolworths site on Queens Road. The move will be completed by the start of summer this year.
Part of the Transforming Nuneaton programme to regenerate Nuneaton town centre, this key site will see the delivery of a new library and business centre, up to 65 residential properties and a new landscaped public space leading to St Nicolas Church.
An outline planning application has already been submitted for the development which is being managed by Warwickshire County Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and their strategic development partner Warwickshire Property and Development Group.