Saturday, 8 August 2015

Farewell Coventry Co-Op, hello even more student accommodation (probably).

After nearly 150 years in the Coventry city centre, the Co-Op is due to close on the 24th October 2015.

From its humble beginnings in Cook Street in 1867 it moved to its current, multi-storey location, in 1956.

For many locals, born and bred in the city, the Co-Op is the first point of call for many things, from electricals (if you are a member of the Co-Op which costs £2 for lifetime membership you could get some great deals), to school uniforms, to suites and beds.

It was Christmas, however, that the 'Co' really came into its own.  Theirs was THE Santa to visit.

There was the sleigh, sitting ride behind reindeer whilst scenery rushed past.


The tinkling bells on the harnesses.

The exit into a decorated hut.

The authentic fat, jolly Santa.

The wrapped gift.

It was fantastic.

I went every year, my friends went every year.  My friends are now taking their children and grandchildren.  

But it will be no more.

According to the Coventry Telegraph a plea has gone out for someone to carry on the tradition and take over the Co-Op Santa experience.

So what will be built in place of the shop?  My guessing, and many people seem to agree, is that it will be yet MORE student accommodation.  

According to a report on the Coventry Council website, there are currently more than 4000 purpose built student accommodation units in the city, mostly in the centre.  There are also more than 8000 units on or around the site of the University of Warwick on the outskirts of the city.  There is extant planning permission for a further 3300 units across the city.

This does not include the recent change in plans for the former sorting office in the centre.

Nor does it include the great swathes of the suburbs where houses are converted to HMOs and operated by private companies or individuals.

I have posted before about students taking over the city, and the influx shows no sign of abating.


  1. Will definitely share this. Very heartfelt post.

    Lizzie Dripping

    1. Thank you. I know the term 'it's the end of an era' is over used these days, but in this case I think it is relevant.