Coventry University to join cultural transformation of city’s former IKEA building
Coventry University is the latest organisation to become part of Coventry City Council’s planned cultural transformation of the city’s former IKEA building.
Now known as the City Centre Cultural Gateway (CCCG), the building will be repurposed to become a landmark cultural destination in Coventry.
CCCG would provide a new home for nationally recognised collections and include a space for new research facilities. Existing partners of the project include CV Life, Arts Council England and the British Council.
Coventry University would be utilising floors five and six by creating a cultural hub which would see a range of facilities on offer, including teaching areas, research space and attractions.
The two floors would house a gallery, café, library and exhibition space, dance studio, conference area, artists’ studios, post-production filming facilities and a shop where students can sell their artwork.
Many of these facilities would be open to the public or would be available to hire and would serve as a lasting legacy of Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture. If the plans are approved, the hub could open as early as Autumn 2025.
It would provide a new home for Coventry University’s FabLab, which supports local people and businesses to learn new skills, and could lead to a range of new arts and heritage courses, including short courses, being offered.
Councillor David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities at Coventry City Council, said: “We are delighted that Coventry University will be part of this important and exciting project which will benefit the people of Coventry.
“Coventry University will be utilising the top two floors of the building that we are creatively repurposing, to make a new cultural hub. It is fantastic that the university’s state-of-the-art facilities will be open for public use.
“This is another key part of the City Centre Cultural Gateway project, which is led by Coventry City Council, and further supports our ambition of working with organisations to create a new cultural space in the city which is accessible for the community.”
Judith Mossman, Pro-Vice Chancellor at Coventry University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities, said: “This is all about allowing everyone, whether they be students or members of the community, to engage with culture at any level. This will be of huge benefit to Coventry, it will be accessible to the public. The university is a big part of the city, and we want people to feel they too can use the campus.
“The space itself is enormous but it’s incredibly flexible, it was divided into different rooms when this was set up as IKEA, so it can be fitted out in different ways. In my opinion this is a handsome building and a landmark building in the city, it was sad when IKEA left but we believe we have come up with an imaginative solution to bring it back to life to the benefit of students and the wider community.”
Professor John Latham CBE, Coventry University Vice-Chancellor, added: “We are thrilled to be playing a key role in this project which aims to breathe new life into one of Coventry’s most prominent buildings. The cultural hub would bring great benefits to both students and the public by making cultural activities and experiences accessible to all.”
A public exhibition about plans for the building took place in February. Consultation boards from the sessions and further information about the project can be found at https://www.coventry.gov.uk/culturalgateway