As City of Culture 2021 we can expect a major boost in tourism and investment as Coventry hosts a spectacular year of events in three years time. For our February meeting you can learn more about a new pilot Shop Front Festival from Julia Negus of Theatre Absolute and The Shop Front Theatre.
Coventry—City of Culture 2021 Monday, February 12 at 7.30pm in the Shopfront Theatre, City Arcade Free for members, £2 for visitors
Our persistence and perseverance is paying off at last as we see positive progress with the restoration of the mansion at New Century Park—Copsewood Grange. A recent impromptu site visit by two members of the committee enabled us to see that most of the roof is complete and work is well underway to complete the new floors. Of course the fire ravaged building was in danger of total collapse until Morris Homes secured the building with considerable steel girder work. Pictured is the hoarding on Binley Road announcing ‘The Grange, a historic building sympathetically restored into a private collection of two bedroom apartments.’
On 15th January the Coventry Society met at The Broad Street Community Centre to hear David Fry’s summary of his researches into Foleshill and Longford and adjacent areas. David released his new pictorial history of Foleshill and it is indeed an excellent
In January the Council approved plans to use millions of pounds of Coventry taxpayers' cash to pay off the debts of the developer which owns the Friargate site. This huge sum of money will go to the Irish government to clear the debt of Cannon Kirk, the founders of Friargate LLP, to enable the £100million scheme to progress and deliver the 25 new buildings, including 14 Grade A office blocks, housing and a hotel planned. Apparently this debt had prevented the development moving forward because the land itself had acted as loan security. According to Coventry Telegraph the council is now set to enter a 50/50 joint venture with the Irish landowners in a move that will see the council agree to clear the developer’s debt with an Irish government agency by issuing a loan of its own. The new company will replace Friargate LLP and council officials insist the cost of the venture will pay for itself, and turn a profit, over the next 20 to 30 years pointing towards a predicted uplift in business rates of £20million a year.
An evening of history and drama, telling the story of Coventry’s fascinating role in the 15th century dynastic conflict, with narration by TV historian Dr Jonathan Foyle. Performance by member of the Criterion Theatre and Renaissance Music for brass ensemble. St Mary’s Hall, Coventry, Thursday, April 26. 6.45pm for a 7.15pm performance Tickets £5 including light refreshments from the Lord Mayor’s Office. Email: email@example.com Tel. 024 7683 3047
More news and views on our website: www.coventrysociety.org.uk
An interesting scheme for the Non-Conformist Chapel at London Road Cemetery has been put forward by the Friends organisation. Instead of conversion to office accommodation their preferred option is the establishment of a mausoleum on two sides of the building. Clearly, whichever the venture the financial implications have to be important. In this respect the Friends have tabulated the sort of prices that the Council charge. Here are some sample figures: Columbaria Wall Niches: leasehold for 10 years £434 rising to £831 for 20 years; memorial book leasehold for 10 years £553, rising to £1422 for 20 years. This alternative scheme would certainly avoid the provision of utility services across the burial ground and might well prove to be a worthy alternative.
Historic Coventry Trust Coventry City Council’s cabinet this week approved the transfer of 22 individual properties, and five adjoining sites, to the Historic Coventry Trust. The buildings range from two Grade I listed, 14th-century monasteries to a row of 19thcentury shops in a conservation area. A Historic England statement said: “Through the Coventry Heritage Action Zone project, supported by Historic England, many of these buildings will receive funding for projects that will generate new uses, “ The Historic Coventry Trust, which operates on social enterprise principles, is fund-raising to support the reuse of the buildings which will boost Coventry’s visitor economy and generate revenue for the buildings’ long term maintenance. The Trust will be able to borrow funds to supplement grants for conservation work. This is an example of what Historic England has been promoting through its guidance on heritage asset transfer – Pillars of the Community.” Ian Harrabin, Chairman of Historic Coventry Trust said: “Despite Coventry’s image as a modern post-war city, the best of its medieval buildings actually survived the bombing and were preserved and maintained by the Council, but largely forgotten. These assets offer huge potential today to boost tourism in the city and to change its image – we have found treasure, hidden in plain sight.”
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One of Coventry’s ugliest buildings will be demolished as part of £300million regeneration plans for the city centre. The 14-storey Coventry Point office block will be erased from the skyline as part of the ambitious City Centre South scheme, which will see the transformation of Hertford Street, the Bull Yard, Shelton Square and City Arcade. Coventry Point was designed in 1969 by architect John Madin - the man behind Birmingham’s recently demolished brutalist Central Library - and was completed in 1975. It is actually two towers joined by glass walkways, but its dull grey concrete exterior has previously been described by the Coventry Society as “unsightly and of poor quality”. Pictured from car parking above Market Way.
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The February 2018 edition of the Coventry Society UK newsletter.