PUBLIC art installations including a new tapestry-inspired Welcome to Coventry sign, a concourse mural and eco artwork on the multi-storey car park are proposed as part of the £250,000 refurbishment of Coventry Station.
It is full steam ahead with the Coventry Station Masterplan to modernise the Grade II listed building, which has changed very little since it opened in 1962. Key milestones have so far seen the installation of a new footbridge, cladding on the new station building and the opening of a new taxi loop.
Coun Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration at Coventry City Council and Board Director at the CWLEP, said: “We’ve seen a lot of changes at the station over the past six months with the giant crane lifting in the new footbridge and the new multi-storey car park being built.
“Our plans for the city centre have been to make the best of the old and the best of the new, and these plans sum that up exactly – taking a Grade II listed building, but refurbishing it to make it feel modern and inviting. Thank you for your patience while we are cracking on. It will all be worth it in the end!”
Proposed public art installations to enhance the existing station building include a revamp of the ‘Welcome to Coventry’ sign on platform 4, a new tapestry-inspired welcome sign in the main concourse paying tribute to Coventry’s cloth and ribbon industry heritage, a vinyl mural on the main concourse glazing featuring Coventry’s icons and landmarks, as well as a nature-inspired artwork installation on the existing station multi-storey car park.
Along the platforms there are plans for architectural seating with planting areas, called ‘parklets’.
Other planned work to spruce up the building includes deep cleaning to enhance original features, the treatment of flooring and the replacement of skylights on platform one.
Around £250,000 of the £27.5 million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) for the Coventry Station Masterplan has been allocated to enhance the existing station building.
Coun David Welsh, cabinet member for housing and communities, said: “The plans to install artwork, inside and outside the station, is really exciting. We will be carefully protecting the building’s Grade II listed status while adding something unique.
“It’s always wonderful to see new pieces of art being installed, but especially so when it can be incorporated into older buildings like this. It will help us to celebrate the station whilst conserving its iconic 1960s architecture.”
Further funding bids have been submitted to upgrade cycle parking and improve cycle routes to the station, as well as further public art installations and refurbishment works to restore architectural heritage features.
Avanti West Coast is also undertaking a project to refresh the station’s branding and redecorating the waiting rooms while ensuring that none of the original listed features are altered. This will include painting, new flooring, improved seating, the installation of automatic doors and charging points. The former first-class lounge on platform one will be converted into a waiting room, and will serve as a community area during off peak hours.
John Harrison, Group Property Project Manager at First Group, which runs Avanti, said: “In addition to the waiting room improvements, we’re also committed to delivering and installing a Building Management System across the station. The system monitors what energy we are using, where we are potentially wasting energy and allows us to create more efficient ways of working, such as lights controlled by timing.
“We also have plans to install a water fountain to reduce the use of plastic bottles and renew wayfinding signage.”
For more information on the work at Coventry railway station, visit: coventry.gov.uk/stationmasterplan