1st Jul, 2022

Nic relishing bringing history to life in new role at Coventry's St Mary's Guildhall

AN EXPERIENCED heritage building conservation project manager and historian has been appointed to run and develop St Mary’s Guildhall after its £5.6million restoration.

Nic Fulcher has joined No Ordinary Hospitality Management (NOHM) and will be responsible for devising and co-ordinating a programme of events, public and private tours, special talks and a programme of community engagement from primary school children through to adult learners.

Mr Fulcher was the projects manager at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) since 2013, and oversaw the redevelopment of New Place, the site of William Shakespeare’s former family home, as a sculpture garden.

St Mary’s Guildhall’s major redevelopment is funded through the Cultural Capital Investment Fund, resourced from Coventry City Council, Arts Council England, and the Government’s Getting Building Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has also provided both capital and additional revenue funding to support three years of activities and events for schools, communities and families to engage both new and existing audiences with the history of St Mary’s Guildhall.

The Guildhall is home of the significant Coventry Tapestry, Mary Queen of Scots was held there in 1569, and the building miraculously survived the blitz of 1940 which devastated much of the city centre.

As part of the works, the tapestry’s display and interpretation has been improved, the visitor experience has been enhanced and two new lifts make it more accessible.

NHM already runs Coombe Abbey Hotel and Park, a 12th century former Cistercian Abbey just outside Coventry and has taken on the management of six restored historic cottages for Historic Coventry Trust, providing boutique holiday accommodation, including a former Medieval Gatehouse, within the city centre.

University of Warwick graduate Mr Fulcher said he was delighted with his new role at the Guildhall which had ‘longevity and a colourful history’.

“The company is establishing a strong reputation for managing a growing number of unique historic buildings and it will be an honour to tell the spellbinding story of St Mary’s Guildhall.

“From its establishment to the War of the Roses when Coventry was declared the Capital of England, through to becoming a Victorian soup kitchen and its remarkable survival of the Second World War bombings.”

Mr Fulcher added the building was ‘a hidden gem, sandwiched between the council offices and the original Cathedral ruins in the historic centre of the city’.

“It is really important for any visitor to experience history in the buildings where it actually happened.

“Not only does St Mary’s Guildhall provide a wonderful learning opportunity and access into medieval history, but the rare chance to see the Coventry Tapestry – a significant textile – in the actual space it was made for.”

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