The Leader of Coventry City Council has welcomed news of a government grant to boost the city’s cultural life, saying it will kickstart projects that will transform the city for 2021 and beyond.
Cllr George Duggins said yesterday’s Budget announcement of £8.5 million is good news for the city.
The money is supporting plans to boost Coventry’s arts and culture scene and will see significant improvements to some of the city’s major venues and production facilities.
It includes financial support for the Belgrade Theatre to refurbish the auditorium and establish a new creative talent hub. Money will also be used to invest in Coventry’s Cathedral Quarter, with historic venues such as Coventry Cathedral, St Mary’s Guildhall, Drapers’ Hall and the Herbert set to benefit.
Cllr Duggins said: “This is fantastic news for our city and it will help with some major projects that will transform our city for its year in the spotlight and beyond.
“We always said that our reign as UK City of Culture was about more than just those 12 months, it was about creating something special for the future that would benefit residents.
“This money will go towards work at some of our most loved buildings to make sure they are a part of our city’s life for many years to come, as well as giving a start to up and coming talent through our creative centres.
“It shows the faith in our city and will help us to attract further funding so we can get these projects up and running.
“There’s still two years to go, but you can already feel the changes that the title of UK City of Culture is bringing to our city.
“With our work to improve the city centre, new attractions like the waterpark and 50m pool and new restaurants opening up, these really are exciting times for Coventry.”
Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “This is another major financial boost for Coventry and the plans for 2021.
“This announcement will help a number of cultural and heritage organisations ensure that their internationally-significant buildings are developed in time for 2021.
“We’re delighted that the funding will also support less established venues to achieve their potential, ensuring there will be a meaningful legacy which will benefit Coventry and its people for many more years.
“The investment that Coventry is attracting already in advance of 2021 is genuinely exciting news for the city and the wider region, and is testament to the quality of partnerships being developed across Coventry.”
Yesterday’s announcement follows news last week of a £5m Arts Council grant to boost Coventry’s City of Culture plans and turn ‘creative dreams into reality’, along with over £370,000 to help make the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.