The first grant has been offered under the Heritage Development Trust Pilot Grant Scheme. A grant of £150,000 will support Historic Coventry Trust through a key transition period as they take on 22 historic properties from Coventry City Council and re-purpose these important listed sites for the future. These include the national demonstrator project for High Street Heritage Action Zones at Hales Street, the 14th-century Swanswell and Cook Street Gates (the only two of the medieval gates to survive), the late-medieval Charterhouse site and the 19th-century Greek Revival Drapers’ Hall. These projects will be restored and adapted to create exciting new commercial and public spaces, events venues and unique visitor attractions and holiday cottages in time for Coventry’s 2021 City of Culture year.
A second grant of £350,000 has been awarded under the Transformational Capital Grant scheme. This is for the Lychgate Cottages.
3-5 Priory Row (known as Lychgate Cottages) are three remarkable close-studded timber frame properties dating from around 1415 and the only upstanding building surviving from the 12th century St Mary’s Priory complex. Historic Coventry Trust intend reviving a national important heritage asset, making the properties accessible to the community and visitors to the city, and providing much needed visitor accommodation in the lead up to Coventry City of Culture 2021.
Ian Harrabin, Chairman of Historic Coventry Trust, said: “These are two very different awards but both will be of great benefit to the city. Historic Coventry Trust is a lean but ambitious organisation and we have got lots to achieve over the next couple of years. Obviously handling such important and varied projects requires a wide range of skills and is time-intensive, so the Heritage Development Pilot Grant of £150,000 will help us build and sustain those capabilities.
“The £350,000 towards 3-5 Priory Row is a massive boost towards transforming these three 15 Century buildings into unique visitor accommodation while respecting their architectural merit and outstanding historical importance.”
The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK. It provides advice, information and financial assistance in the form of early project grants and loans for projects undertaken by charities and not-for-private profit organisations.