Operator Appointed for Historic Buildings

CovSoc visit to the city gates in May

Coventry Historic Trust has appointed an operator to manage six historic buildings being launched as boutique holiday and visitor accommodation in October.

The Trust has appointed Coventry-based heritage attraction specialists, No Ordinary Hospitality Management, to promote and operate the properties, following on from their recent appointment by the Council to operate St Mary’s Guildhall.

Historic Coventry Trust’s £1.5m partnership project with Coventry City Council to restore and convert the city’s two medieval gates and the three Lychgate Cottages in Priory Row is nearing completion, bringing new life to ancient buildings that have lain underused for decades. The buildings were originally built between 1385 and 1440 and are rare survivors of the city’s medieval heyday.

CovSoc member Graham Tait, Assistant Director of the Historic Coventry Trust, who has managed the delivery of the project, said: “This is the culmination of 12 months of painstaking restoration work which followed years of planning and fundraising to bring the project to fruition. This has only been possible through our close partnership with the Council who have transferred the buildings to the Trust on a 250-year lease. The project forms part of the ground-breaking Framework Agreement entered into between the Trust and Council in 2019 covering many of the city’s most important heritage assets.

“The results of the works really are stunning and give Coventry a unique set of accommodation which will allow people to stay in historic properties while exploring what the city and region has to offer. The timing is perfect as the city gets into gear in its year of culture with lockdown restrictions lifting.”

There are four properties in Priory Row which can cater for parties from two to six, while the Cook Street and Swanswell Gates can accommodate two people each.

The project has been funded by Architectural Heritage Fund, the Council’s Cultural Capital Investment Fund and the Government’s Getting Building Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP). The framework partnership with the Council has attracted national attention with the Trust’s entrepreneurial model of sustainable reuse of heritage buildings set to be adopted by other cities following a string of successful restoration projects including The Burges/Hales Street regeneration, London Road Cemetery, Charterhouse and Drapers’ Hall.

The accommodation will be available to book soon, through the Historic Coventry Trust’s website. Heritage Trust Executive Director Carol Pyrah will be attending the November CovSoc meeting to tell us more.

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