A major transformation has started to convert the historic Daimler Powerhouse into a new £2.4 million creative hub for artists in time for UK City of Culture 2021.
Scaffolding has now gone up and construction work has begun on the Daimler Powerhouse, once home to the world-famous car factory on the edge of the city centre in Radford, which is being transformed into the first purpose-built and collaborative art production facility in the city.
Wigley Building and Development, which owns Sandy Lane Business Park where the site is based and is a significant funder of the scheme, is undertaking the works for planned completion in March 2021.
The former centre of engineering excellence will become a centre of creative excellence, providing dedicated spaces for artists and resident creative companies led by Imagineer Productions which has been based on site for over a decade.
It will be focused on outdoor arts, theatre and working with young and emerging artists, and will play an integral part in supporting UK City of Culture 2021 as a production centre for major performance works.
The scheme will retain the character and features of the building including the brickwork arches and gantry cranes. The restored building will become dedicated working space for many artists and companies in the city, and an important legacy to City of Culture 2021.
The redevelopment is being funded with £1.9 million from the Cultural Capital Investment Fund which is resourced from Coventry City Council and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal. The Wigley Group is contributing a further £350,000 as well as a highly-discounted 20-year lease on Daimler Powerhouse, along with a neighbouring building.
Daimler Powerhouse is seen as the first stage in a planned regeneration of the wider site which encompasses Sandy Lane Industrial Estate, also owned by The Wigley Group.
The Wigley Group is developing a masterplan to transform Sandy Lane Industrial Estate into Daimler Wharf, a new neighbourhood for living and work, culture and leisure, designed to complement Daimler Powerhouse and benefit the wider community. Consultation on these wider plans is anticipated later this autumn.
Information for this news story was taken from a Coventry City Council press release.