The public and private sector in Nuneaton have been urged to work together to identify and deliver new healthcare facilities, support social care and reinvigorate the town centre.
A meeting of civic leaders from across local government, health and the private sector came together last week to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Nuneaton in the years ahead.
Marcus Jones MP, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Warwickshire County Council, the NHS and private sector developers were brought together at an event hosted by Arden Estate Partnerships and Deeley Group.
Marcus Jones MP, who delivered a speech at the event, said: “In order to thrive, any town centre needs to evolve and adapt to respond to wider changes in the economy and society. We need to work together to ensure the town centre is something we can all be proud of in the future.
“This includes the provision of health and social care, which will need to be considered as an integrated part of the regeneration of the town centre. The challenge is ensuring that as we move forward with some of the exciting plans for Nuneaton we also deliver the infrastructure to go alongside it, working with public and private sector partners to make it happen.”
Nuneaton is set to benefit from significant regeneration in the coming years, particularly in the town centre. Nuneaton and Bedworth’s Local Plan is due to be agreed in the coming months and when in place will provide a framework for the growth of Nuneaton until 2031, including housing, retail and employment.
The value of public-private partnerships was emphasised as key to delivering Nuneaton’s Local Plan, and as a way of maximising the opportunities in the town.
Peter Deeley, Managing Director at Deeley Group, said: “Nuneaton is a place that has always been open to adaptation and evolution but that doesn’t happen without everyone working together to achieve a common goal. There are some fantastic examples of joint working already across Coventry and Warwickshire and we want to ensure Nuneaton benefits from the same positive relationship with the private sector.
“There are such fantastic opportunities in Nuneaton, the rail station being just one example, and it is important that we make the most of these or risk losing them altogether. Regeneration is a complex process and needs input from investors and developers as well as local authorities. We look forward to continuing to talk with the council to help deliver their aims in the town centre.”
The event, which was held in the Eliot Park Innovation Centre overlooking George Eliot Hospital, was organised to complement a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment which is currently being undertaken by Warwickshire County Council. The results of the Assessment, which look at current healthcare provision, challenges and changing demand, are due to be published in October and will help define the priorities of the NHS in Nuneaton in the years ahead.
Nikki Hopkins, General Manager at Arden Estate Partnerships, said: “Based on all the data we have access to, Nuneaton is quite an unhealthy town in the context of Warwickshire as a whole. For example, Nuneaton has the highest number of emergency admissions in the county. When combined with the ageing population, it’s important we consider what type of healthcare we will need in the future and how we are going to deliver that.
“We can draw from our local experience in developing the City of Coventry Health Centre, which brings together GPs, and a whole range of services including outpatients, a walk-in centre and dentistry as well as a Pharmacy and a Café run by the Royal Voluntary Service.
“Bringing together local authorities, the NHS and the private sector has enabled us to start having a joined-up conversation about what Nuneaton will look like in ten years, where GP surgeries will be located, what services they might provide and how health will serve the community as it evolves. This is just the start of the process, but we are incredibly pleased at the enthusiasm and ideas that have already started to emerge.”