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Coventry set for Royal visit

Published Tuesday, 02 January 2018

Coventry is set to be given a Royal seal of approval during a visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge later this month.

Duke and Duchess to visit Coventry
Duke and Duchess to visit Coventry

Prince William and his wife Kate will come to the city on Tuesday 16 January to mark a double celebration. 

Their Royal Highnesses will officially open Coventry University’s new Science and Health building, which has combined new lab facilities with simulation equipment for teaching and research.

Beforehand, the Royal couple will visit Coventry Cathedral – which will include a public walkabout in the Cathedral Ruins – to celebrate the city being named the UK City of Culture 2021.

Work has already started to deliver the plans for an incredible 12 months in three years’ time and the Royal visit shows how the city is set to be thrust into the national spotlight.

After the walkabout in the ruins, they will go into the ‘new’ Cathedral, where they will be told about its past history and its current work to promote peace and understanding around the world.

Prince William will be following in the footsteps of his great grandfather King George VI, who visited the Ruins two days after the bombing raid that devastated the city in November 1940.

They will hear how Coventry emerged from those dark days to join other cities that had suffered and work to spread a message of peace and forgiveness, and how that work continues today in war zones around the globe and through organisations such as the Community of the Cross of Nails.  

After hearing of the city’s past, the Royal Party will see how the future of the city is being shaped, with a visit to Coventry University.

They will officially open the new Science and Health building on Whitefriars, which has combined new lab facilities with simulation equipment for teaching and research.

The visitors will see the new facility which includes hospital ward and ambulance simulation, along with rehabilitation, occupational therapy and other health disciplines for use by students, researchers and the community.

The new laboratories and teaching spaces are part of the University’s work to help bring some of the best and brightest future health professionals to the city.

Coventry University Vice-Chancellor Prof John Latham said: "We are honoured to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to officially open our new Science and Health building. 

“Their Royal Highnesses will be able to witness the incredible facilities and innovative teaching that goes on within this building for nurses, midwives and other health professionals - and see how this will have an impact on and inspire not just our students, but also the whole community.”

The Royal visit will end with a trip to the Positive Youth Foundation, where they will be shown how it works to support young people through sport, music, education and training.

The Foundation has supported thousands of young people in the city - including newly arrived asylum seekers and refugees - and has helped Coventry to become a multicultural role model for other cities.

All three venues to be visited played a vital role in the Bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and are among the reasons why the city was chosen.

They represent the past, through the city’s heritage and its birth as a city of peace and reconciliation; the present day modern university city that welcomes people of all faiths and races; and the future, with the city’s young people and the cutting edge research that will bring jobs and prosperity.

The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Tony Skipper, said: “The Royal Visit is a great honour for our city and it is a glimpse of what lies ahead as Coventry takes its place on the national stage as the UK City of Culture.

“I am delighted that the visit will include some of the places and people who helped to put together such a strong bid and show what an amazing city we live in. We do have a wonderful history and a fascinating story to tell, but we are also so proud of the city we have today and the work that is going on to create an even better city for the future.

“I know the people of Coventry will give the Duke and Duchess a true Coventry welcome and make it a day to remember for our city.”

Laura McMillan, Manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We are thrilled that the Duke and Duchess will be coming to Coventry so soon after we were named UK City of Culture 2021.

“It has been an incredible few weeks for the city and this visit will, again, put Coventry in the spotlight and is a chance to showcase the city’s past, present and future to the Royal Highnesses – and to the world.

“It’s an exciting way to start 2018 and will be continued throughout the year as we build momentum towards 2021.”

The Reverend Canon David Stone from Coventry Cathedral said: “We were very pleased to hear that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are keen to visit Coventry and very much look forward to showing them something of our life and work here at the Cathedral.

“Deeply embedded in the culture we share with our city is a commitment to help enemies become friends. We are delighted at the opportunity we shall have to share this passion for peace and reconciliation with our royal visitors.”

Rashid Bhayat, CEO of Positive Youth Foundation, said: “The Positive Youth Foundation support young people through targeted education, health, creative and social-engagement programmes. 

“We work with thousands of young people each year, in particular, when they find themselves in challenging circumstances. It is honour to showcase our work with the Royal guests, where they will see first-hand the support we offer through our mental health, social action and newly arrived young people’s services. 
 
“Their Highnesses will meet groups of inspirational young people who have overcome many barriers and benefited from the support we offer. By meeting directly, we hope that they will gain a greater insight in to the multiple challenges young people face, as well as Coventry’s collaborative response to meeting such needs. 

“We are incredibly proud of our city’s young people and our partnership-working, and will showcase its effectiveness during the visit.”

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