Published: Thu 17 October, 2019
A former bus depot in Coalville has opened as a car showroom, bringing new jobs to the town and regenerating a derelict site on Ashby Road.
With support from North West Leicestershire District Council’s (NWLDC) grant schemes the owners of the new Desirablecar.com showroom have been able to transform the former depot into a modern facility that combines a workshop with a sales area for their quality used car business.
The project has received grants of £50,000 from the NWLDC Frontage Improvement Scheme and £25,000 from the Enterprising North West Leicestershire scheme.
As part of the partnership with NWLDC the building owners Deepak Mavani and Paul Westwood have worked to preserve some of the iconic façade of the former depot while also adding wood-effect cladding to the exterior to ensure the development is in-keeping with the district’s National Forest identity.
The effort to preserve the façade of the building and regenerate an historic building and give it a new use and positive attractive presence in the town has drawn praise from the Coalville Heritage Society, which has presented the owners with an historic image of the depot as a thank you for the quality of the work.
Having stood empty since 2011, the building was originally built in 1925, and was one of the earliest purpose built bus depots in the country and home to Midland Red bus company. During the 1930s almost 50 buses were in operation from the site.
NWLDC’s support for the project comes as part of its Coalville regeneration agenda. This has seen businesses across the town able to apply for funding to expand or improve their businesses. So far over £450,000 has been given to 38 businesses in the North West Leicestershire through three different district council grant schemes.
Councillor Tony Gillard, Portfolio Holder for Business and Regeneration at North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “We have a huge role to play in encouraging investment and regeneration in Coalville, and offering financial support through our grant scheme is proving very successful.
“Ashby Road is a key route into the town, and with new homes on the former police station site, along with the opening of this new showroom at the former derelict bus depot, this part of Coalville has gone from an abandoned-looking area, to an area of regeneration.
“We are really pleased with the look of the new building and we wish Mr Mavani and Mr Westwood the best of luck with their new enterprise.”
Paul Westwood said: “We’re delighted that our new car showroom is open for business and proud that this historic building has been brought back to life.
“The support and encouragement we’ve had from the council throughout has been excellent, and we share their enthusiasm in being a part of regenerating Coalville.
“We’re delighted too that the Coalville Heritage Society has recognised our efforts to preserve the iconic look of the building, something that was a real priority for us throughout our work to regenerate it.”
Steve Duckworth, Chairman of Coalville Heritage Society, said: “We are fully behind the regeneration of Coalville, but firmly believe that this effort needs to include an effort to preserve the history of this important coalmining town.
“The work done by Deepak and Paul in collaboration with NWLDC sets a great example of how this can be achieved and we’re delighted with the look of the building. We wish them every success with their new business.”
For more information on the support that can be offered by NWLDC’s Business Focus team, visit www.nwleics.gov.uk/funding_for_businesses