Swan Shopping Centre
Logo for the Swan Shopping Centre
|Total retail floor area||80,000 square feet (7,400 m2)|
With its landmark high rise building, it stands on the A45 Coventry Road at its intersection with the A4040 Outer Ring Road (also the Birmingham Outer Circle Number 11 bus route), known as Swan Island.
It consists of a predominantly 1960s structure after the previous shopping centre was burned down. The previous shopping centre stood on the site of the Tivoli Cinema and Hardings Bakery. The Swan pub was on the opposite side of the Swan Island where the Swan office block is now. The Swan Inn was situated in a location in which it received a successful trade as many coaches and trade wagons passed it as they travelled from the southeast of the country into Birmingham. In 1731, Nicholas Rothwell of Warwick established a coach business which transported people from the inn to London via Warwick, Aylesbury and Banbury. At present, numerous coach companies use the shopping centre as a stop.
The Swan Inn also became a popular venue for public displays including James Brindley, who outlined the results of a survey he had undertaken for the cutting of a navigable canal between Birmingham and the Black Country coalfields. The Swan was the terminus for trams serving Birmingham and new shops were built about 1938. One of the landmarks at this time was the local bakery (Hardings) which was situated at the corner junction of Coventry Road and Church Road. The present centre was also the location of a local cinema, The Tivoli.
The current shopping centre was constructed with Bakeman House, a block of flats, which currently houses mainly elderly tenants. The tower block has been refurbished by Birmingham City Council at a cost of £3 million. Works included repainting the exterior, installing double glazed windows and the addition of a new lighting feature around the parapet. The works took up to nine months were completed in December 2008 by Wates. The majority of the building is of a concrete exterior, however, the entrance block at the multi-storey car park is clad in corrugated steel painted a dark orange. The shopping centre itself was located underneath the tower block. When opened, it was a Gateway Supermarket and became an In Shop market up until August 2007. The shopping centre formerly had over 80 shops and businesses, however all had gone by February 2009.
Tesco have had plans to redevelop the centre into a modern shopping complex whilst retaining the flats above for six years. The final plans were approved in 2007 but the poor condition of Bakeman House and other problems, including land ownership, have delayed the work. As well as redeveloping the centre, Tesco constructed a new supermarket on the site with a new petrol station, not as yet confirmed by Tesco (last Yardley Forum Dec 2010), located on the adjacent car park. Church Road was widened to a dual carriageway from the Coventry Road to Harvey Road with a new traffic island at Harvey Road. Church Road will also be reconfigured around the site, cutting into a local recreation ground. A delay due to a challenge to a compulsory purchase order for the road arose, for which a hearing in July 2009, taking three weeks, was set. The Secretary of State approved the CPO in favour of Tesco in February 2010.
Preparations for the construction of the road meant the route was marked out and the land cleared. Trees were also been removed by the developers. These were replaced around the edge of the site and Tesco have given the Friends of the Oaklands £4 million to reforest the area and perform any further works. Arup commenced work in Summer 2009 but stopped soon after due to the delay. The main Contractor is now Bowland and Kirkham and DSM with Fitzgerald have specialist contracts. Earth stores under Bakeman House has been transported as fill for the Car park/Road with part left on the Bakeman House site for foundations of the new Store.
The projected completion date was early 2012 for the shop and Mid late 2011 for the road. The road completed long before the shopping centre. Almost half a year.
The Tesco opened on 20 February 2012, with most of the store. However, many retail outlets were still up for sale. Four months later, a new petrol station was opened on the opposite side of the A4040 with a small Tesco Express convenience store at the filling station
Since its opening there has been one event inside the Swan Shopping Centre. For the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II Weekend, Free Radio hosted a "street party" inside the shopping centre with artificial grass. There were many other things happening too with music, having your picture taken as the Queen and more.
There are 21 retail units in the shopping centre.
- Swan Shopping Centre website
- Planning application for redevelopment (pdf)[dead link]
- 1890 Ordnance Survey map of the Swan area – Swan Inn can clearly be seen on the map.