Coventry Cathedral and City of Culture

Work has begun on Coventry Cathedral’s new pavilion annexe – the first physical change to the new cathedral since it was built in 1962.

Coventry Cathedral gets ready to play its part in the UK City of Culture!

This £3.5m project is designed to better open up the building to all sections of the community with a new café, education centre which will also be used for community and external events, new accessible toilets, separate baby changing facilities and a new passenger operated lift.

It is part of a wider programme of improvements to prepare the cathedral to play its part when it becomes UK City of Culture in 2021.

The Dean of Coventry, John Witcombe, said:

“The 2021 development project at the cathedral is a hugely significant moment for us.

“It will transform the welcome we are able to give people when they visit and we are enormously grateful to all those supporters who are making this possible.”

The work will include moving the famous Swedish windows by Einar Forseth into the new build from their current position on the outside wall of the new Cathedral.

The £3.5 million scheme of improvement works have been mainly funded by Coventry City Council and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Contractor appointed for the work.

Helen Peters, board director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“The annexe is the first major physical change to the new Coventry Cathedral since it opened in 1962 and it will enable even more people from all sections of the community to take part in activities and events or look round this magnificent Grade I listed building.

“The Local Growth Fund was launched to boost the economy and support businesses and this extension will provide a major boost to the Cathedral in the short and long-term.”

The work to clear the site began in February 2020 and work on the annexe resumed in June following a break as a result of the pandemic.The building is expected to be ready by May 2021.

Over £1 million worth of the funding was raised from Allchurches Trust; Laing Family Trusts; Friends of the Cathedral; Eranda Rothschild Foundation; Eveson Charitable Trust; Barbara Whatmore Trust; Garfield Weston Foundation; Wolfson Foundation; Glaziers Trust; the Jerusalem Trust; the Armitage Trust; and donations from individuals.

The Cathedral was also supported by local law firm Wright Hassall, who provided free legal advice for the contract.