Exciting developments underway as Coventry's cultural landscape prepares for a remarkable transformation

Ambitious plans to create a new cultural hub in Coventry city centre have reached an important and exciting milestone with a number of significant steps set to take place in the coming months. 

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Coventry Cultural Gateway - ISG
Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities at Coventry City Council (centre) is pictured with ISG Regional Director Luke Arnold (left) and ISG Project Director Liam Davies (right).
Ambitious plans to create a new cultural hub in Coventry city centre have reached an important and exciting milestone with a number of significant steps set to take place in the coming months.  

Construction on the city’s former IKEA building, to transform it into a large-scale cultural landmark with facilities for residents and visitors to the city to enjoy, will be starting this summer.  

The City Centre Cultural Gateway will be developed by international construction specialist, ISG, with initial site mobilisation activities taking place this month and construction due to start in August. The work is scheduled for completion in autumn 2025.  

In addition to transforming the external appearance of the building, with an attractive new combination of cladding and spray-painted finishes, ISG will increase the levels of natural light entering the existing structure by installing panoramic windows across the top two floors. As part of changing the use and purpose of the building a major internal reconfiguration will be undertaken, including structural alterations throughout, mechanical and electrical services upgrade, and a full strip out of the 60,000 sqm accommodation. This work also includes the careful and systematic removal of elevated travellators, lifts and associated distribution systems.

A key-note element of the scheme sees the transformation of the existing nine-metre-high warehouse area into a highly specialised temperature-controlled art storage facility. This facility will be served by a newly installed state-of-the-art oversized heavy load lift – nearly three times the size of a standard lift – which will be used to transport large art installations up to the third floor.

"I'm delighted that we have appointed a contractor and that work is now starting on what will be a really impressive new cultural landmark in the city. One that will be enjoyed by local people, visitors and of course the creative sector. The start of the construction process is a milestone to be celebrated and there will be even more to come as we see changes to the building that will soon become a cultural destination in our city. We're really looking forward to sharing more in the coming months and of course even more excited to see the work finished next year."

Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities at Coventry City Council

Coventry Cultural Gateway - ISG

As the project takes shape, it promises to not only enrich Coventry's cultural landscape but also stimulate economic growth. High-level economic projections suggest the potential for significant job creation and economic value, bolstering Coventry's position as a vibrant hub for arts, culture, and tourism.

Louise Daville, Director of Public Sector Strategy at ISG, said: “This is a bold and innovative vision to reimagine former retail space as a cultural hub for the City of Coventry. The Cultural Gateway brings together complementary, yet distinct, partners within a key central location, providing a richly diverse experience for visitors, students and academics.

“The legacy of transformational projects is hugely impactful regionally and on a national scale. With schemes as complex and technically demanding as the Cultural Gateway, the use of the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) construction works framework has been instrumental in assisting early-stage collaboration and driving efficiencies and innovation across the construction process. As we pass this key milestone, we have a highly motivated team focused on delivering an outstanding cultural destination for Coventry.”

Coventry Cultural Gateway - ISG
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