22nd Jan, 2021

Final funding boost for new £2.5m arts hub breathes new life into UK's first car factory in Coventry

COVENTRY’S new £2.5million creative arts hub, currently under construction, has received a final funding boost.

Led by Imagineer, the purpose-built Daimler Powerhouse Creation Centre will focus primarily on outdoor arts, and play an key role in supporting the UK City of Culture 2021.

The £150,000 funding from Arts Council England will ensure state-of-the art infrastructure is embedded within building which was the first car factory in Britain, including aerial facilities including a Vertical Dance Wall, music and sound facilities, plus essential IT and construction equipment.

As well as providing a home for Imagineer’s innovative education and training programmes aimed at young people and people with disabilities, The Daimler Powerhouse will also be home to five resident city arts and theatre companies  – Imagineer, Highly Sprung, Media Mania, Open Theatre and Talking Birds.

Jane Hytch, Imagineer’s chief executive said: “This funding from Arts Council England is fantastic news, the final piece in the funding jigsaw to make this new centre for creative excellence a reality!

“Work continues apace on the building and it is so heartening in these difficult times to be creating a space for future generations of artists and creative engineers. It is wonderful to see the building, which has a history of excellence, coming to life again.”

The building will provide much needed and dedicated fully accessible spaces for the production of outdoor and site-specific work becoming part of a network of growing national and international creation centres.

Peter Knott, area director, Arts Council England said: “We are delighted to provide this final piece of funding to help restore the Daimler Building back to its former glory, and to be investing in a state of the art space for Imagineer and other Coventry artists to create in. Thank you to the National Lottery and its players for making this funding possible.

“As Coventry enters its year as City of Culture in 2021, places like the Daimler Powerhouse will play a crucial role in nurturing the talent that the city has to offer, as well as providing moments that will amaze people and cement Coventry’s place on the map.”

In addition to this new funding, the redevelopment has received £1.9 million from the Cultural Capital Investment Fund awarded by Coventry City Council and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal.

The Wigley Group, which owns Sandy Lane Business Park and are undertaking the development work, is contributing an additional £350,000 to enable the project to proceed as well as agreeing a highly-discounted 20-year lease on Daimler Powerhouse, as well as a neighbouring building, as part of the redevelopment. Extra funding has been raised from The Foyle Foundation, Medwell-Hyde, The Garfield Weston Foundation and The May 29th 1961 Charitable Trust.

To find out more about the history of the building and to follow the development go to: Twitter – @ImagineerUK; Facebook- @imagineerpod and Instagram – @imagineeruk

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