We have recently been advised by Warwick District Council (WDC) that the Covent Garden multi-storey car park will be closing from Sunday 12 February 2023. They issued a press release this week. Please note the short-stay surface car park will remain open.

We know that some of you will have feedback, questions and concerns. WDC have created an email for enquiries: CoventGarden@warwickdc.gov.uk. Please copy us in to your emails if you wish as we want to keep abreast of your enquiries and continue to represent the business’ voice on this issue.

We understand WDC will be posting further information about their plans on their website in due course. In the meantime, please click here for their updates.

As businesses who have been trading here for time know, we understand the importance of providing customer and employee friendly access and parking in our town centre, and have relentlessly lobbied for a displacement parking plan to accommodate the closure of this car park, along with the provision of adequate spaces when it is redeveloped. This work is ongoing and will continue.

We have raised some questions about this with WDC and meetings will be forthcoming. Our questions relate to identifying:

  • Practical and affordable alternatives for longer stay visitors and employees (including permit holders)
  • Safe and accessible options for our evening economy staff
  • A plan to accommodate visitors during summertime events and the busy period beyond
  • Engaging with the County Council (who manages on-street parking) to discuss more spaces and business friendly options

We have carried out our own research to offer practical ideas and support, and have reached out to the Royal Priors to understand car park usage there. We also welcome your thoughts.

We understand that the operational part of the multi-storey (270 spaces) represents around 17% of the town’s off-street parking supply and this impacts customers, employees and permit holders. When the car park was fully operational (511 spaces) before the top levels were closed, it represented 26% of the town’s off-street supply and it is one of two 24 hours / long stay car parks in the heart of the town.

As noted in the press release, WDC recently reduced the price of ‘all day’ parking to £3 in ‘south town’ car parks following discussions with BID Leamington which we hope will benefit some. Last year around 100 additional spaces have been added behind the train station. (Note, we are making representations for reduced rates in the north of the town too, along with incentives to attract customers at key trading times – so these conversations continue). We are aware that the south town is some distance from businesses in the north, so are seeking details of the new parking offer at Riverside House also.

In the meantime, please be reassured we will do everything we can to help mitigate the impact of this change – and value your feedback and support. As highlighted in our new BID Business Plan which will be published in February, in the coming year we will navigate a number of town centre developments and proposed changes to mobility and parking including on Parade. BID Leamington are the business voice on the Leamington Transformation Group which will be an important body overseeing these developments and defining a future vision. We will be stronger if we work together.

We have a newsletter with spring and summer opportunities coming out soon and look forward to connecting with those that can make our business meeting on the 8th of February.

Best wishes,

Steph, Alison and Gary

Image Credit: Google Maps