Former Jaguar Pub Takes on New Lease of Life

A ground-breaking 5G digital space will transform a city pub site into a ‘plug and play’ performance, education and rehearsal venue in plans to revamp the post-war Corporation Street.

The proposed works will be made possible following a £5m award of programme funding from Coventry City Council’s Cultural Capital Investment Programme to the Belgrade Theatre Capital Project.

The project is the final (third) phase of the development plans for the Belgrade Theatre. It will see the creation of shared working space/workshop/small conferencing space and two apartments. This space will enable the Belgrade Theatre to deliver a ground-breaking 5G digital space for Coventry and a much needed safe space for at-risk young people to benefit from emerging technologies. It will integrate digital and physical interaction, providing young people with opportunities to meet and learn whilst forming a pipeline into employment opportunities. This will create a fully flexible ‘plug and play’ venue that engages with local, regional and global communities, education and business.

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, said:

“This is a really exciting project to complement the work that has already been completed on Corporation Street. This will be a great new space, particularly for young people as it is created for outreach and it will be theirs to use.

“It will mean that we will be able to enjoy some truly cutting-edge performances using the very latest tech available, once more putting the city at the forefront of emerging technologies and using them in really interesting ways.

“Not only will we see the addition of a new creative space and café bar, but we’re also keen to see how we can add some new homes into the area and maintain a permanent pocket park next door.”

Transforming the Jaguar Pub site will complete the third phase of the Belgrade’s works, which has so far included a full refurbishment of the main auditorium and a much improved café .

Vera Ding, General Manager at the Belgrade, said, “The whole team at the Belgrade are thrilled by this exciting development. ‘The Jag’ will be a ground-breaking space for Coventry and a much-needed safe space for at-risk youth to benefit from emerging technologies. It will integrate digital and physical interaction, providing young people with opportunities to meet and learn whilst forming a pipeline into employment opportunities. This fully flexible ‘plug and play’ space is an exciting new performance, education and rehearsal facility that will improve the future sustainability of the Belgrade.”

The final phase is being delivered through a partnership between Complex Development Projects (CDP) and the Belgrade Theatre.  Work is due to complete later this month on the repurposing of the former Jaguar pub in Corporation Street as a new digital space for young people and enable the creation of shared working, and two apartments.

Ian Harrabin of CDP said: “This is a very important project for the young people of the city, with the Belgrade yet again being at the forefront of innovation.  We have been pleased to support them by delivering the project on their behalf over the past four years without charge.

“It is proposed that the development of the adjoining site will complete the terrace in Mid Century style and will enhance the park, improving the setting of St John’s Church.”

The Cultural Capital Investment Fund which is resourced from Coventry City Council, Arts Council England and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal and Get Building Fund.

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