Historic Foleshill Building to be Restored for Homes

Former Challenge Cycle Works
Former Challenge Cycle Works, Foleshill Road to be restored and converted to flats

Plans have been published to convert the former Challenge Cycle Works on Foleshill Road to new apartments and live-work units.

The building, at 203 – 269 Foleshill Road, is locally listed and is located within the Coventry Canal Conservation Area. It was built in 1906 and used as a workshop and warehouse to build a range of bicycles under names such as Challenge Cycles, British Challenge, Beacon Cycles, Mohawk Cycles, Quadrant Cycles, Remington Cycle Co. and O’Brien’s Cycles.

New proposals aim to convert the building to 24 one and two-bed apartments, including four ‘live-work’ apartments.

Agent Callingham Associates, on behalf of the applicant, said the plans seek “to celebrate the most prominent features” and “restore it to its former glory”. The report states: “Our client wishes to restore the building to its former glory. The existing building is architecturally impressive but has become neglected and run down. This application aims to restore the building and make it an attractive place to live. The restoration will be respectful of the craftsmanship of the existing building, whilst creating contemporary living spaces suitable for modern life.”

Little work has been done to the building since the 1960s. The changes will result in an additional storey of accommodation. Plans also include demolishing workshops to the rear of the building to create 24 parking spaces.

The existing basement would also be converted into four retail/workshop spaces, which will each adjoin to a two-bed apartment on the ground floor, creating four ‘live-work’ apartments, with retail units accessible from the street via the existing entrances.


Mr Francis O’Brien, who owned all the companies, is the man with the straw boater hat, in this photograph believed to have been taken in the building in Foleshill Road.

The Conservation Area appraisal describes the building as follows, “It is a high quality building with a symmetrical frontage with classical detailing and still displays the Challenge Cycle Company’s insignia on the end bays. Of particular historical interest are four World War II public air raid shelters on the street frontage, which are amongst the last known ones in the city.”

You can look at the details of the planning application hereThe deadline for public comments is 18th July 2019. 


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