ONE of Coventry’s ‘finest medieval buildings’ will be restored as a major visitor attraction in time for City of Culture 2021, it has been confirmed.
Plans have been advanced for Charterhouse to be regenerated after a £4.3million donation from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The historical site is a Grade 1 Listed 14th century Carthusian monastery.
The award of a the grant from the HLF means the Trust is now only £350,000 short of its £8million target.
The major grant will lead to the opening of a heritage visitor centre and educational attraction as well as the creation of the first 30 acres of the planned 70 acre Heritage Park.
It is set in parkland along the River Sherbourne off London Road just outside the city centre.
Historic Coventry Trust has been working in partnership with Coventry City Council on plans to restore the medieval building, its walled gardens and grounds since 2011.
Ian Harrabin, chairman of the Historic Coventry Trust, said: “It is very exciting news and also a huge relief that we are now so close to starting the project.
“Although we still have some funding to raise, the generous support of the HLF means that the project is now almost certain to start at the end of this year. We will be calling on the local business community to help us reach the target.
“The Charterhouse is nationally important because it is one of only two Carthusian Monasteries with significant remains in the UK and its wall paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries are considered to be some of our finest examples of medieval and Elizabethan art.
“The Charterhouse lies at the core of the Heritage Park and is the Trust’s primary project.
“The park will make a great venue for many of the year’s cultural events but also will become a perpetual legacy from the 2021 year for future generations.”
The plans include creating inter-active displays charting the extensive history of The Charterhouse, which was founded by King Richard II in 1385, and the recreation of two monks’ cells set in the walled garden and a café.
Future plans not yet funded include the restoration of the coach house as a wedding and conference venue.
The council predicts the economic impact of the project will add £3.5million every year to the local economy when it opens to the public in 2020.
Coun Jim O’Boyle, Coventry council cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said: “This is fantastic news for the city. The Charterhouse project will secure access for local people to this amazing building for the first time in its 600 year history.
“It will also be a major boost to tourism with huge potential for creating jobs for local people through the visitor economy.
“The Charterhouse is one of a number of projects that are going to put Coventry firmly on the tourist map in the run up to 2021.”
Construction work is expected to start in January 2019.