THE LAUNCH of a new charitable trust to restore and bring life back to Coventry’s neglected and unused historic buildings has received national recognition.
The aim of the Historic Coventry Trust is to procure city centre buildings with historic significance, which are either underused or needing repairing, and return them to their former glory.
The community based charity raises funds for much-needed restoration and improvement which will help create new uses which will add to the city’s visitor appeal and image.
The new organisation has been formed by the expansion of the charity behind the restoration of
The Charterhouse, which is the centrepiece of the new 70-acre Heritage Park.
The Bishop of Coventry the Right Rev Dr Christopher Cocksworth has been appointed the charity’s patron.
The trust’s voluntary chairman, Ian Harrabin, has already restored a number of the city’s historic buildings over the past 25 years and is currently behind the regeneration of Far Gosford Street through his company, CDP.
Mr Harrabin said the launch of the trust was a major step for the city which reflected their desires to protect Coventry’s heritage, which will only grow as the bid for City of Culture approaches.
The trust has been working closely with private owners and the council to take over a number of buildings which are at risk.
Mr Harrabin added: “By the very nature of heritage properties, the number of them increases with time.
“Several buildings created in the 20th century in Coventry are now listed buildings and form an important part of our recent history and an asset for tourism.
“The trust is not just about medieval buildings but will work with partners to ensure better use of all of our heritage. ”
Mr Harrabin added the aim of Historic Coventry was to become a little ‘National Trust’ for the city, ensuring their most important buildings never again fell into disrepair and disuse.
Mr Harrabin said they planned to restore the buildings by using grants from bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England as well as donations from charities, companies and individuals.
He added: “All will be put to sympathetic use boosting the visitor economy and providing income for their maintenance and management.
“The creation of a core income is key to the long term sustainability of the buildings and the trust’s abilities to take on more projects in future.”
Leader of the Council Coun Ann Lucas said it was great news for the city and they believed it was an innovative way of preserving and improving some of their historical assets for the good of Coventry, protecting them for future generations.