AMBITIOUS plans to create an arts Collection Centre in Coventry of national and international standing have moved a step closer.
The plans were first announced last year, through a unique partnership between Coventry City Council, Arts Council England’s Arts Council Collection, the British Council and Culture Coventry Trust, in collaboration with the Coventry City of Culture Trust.
This development will see the city centre landmark building – formerly an IKEA store – transformed to create a multi-purpose collections and cultural facility, contributing the legacy from Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture.
The multi-million-pound project will become home to some of the country’s greatest works of art and provide greater public access to Coventry’s own cultural and heritage collections.
Coun David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, which covers culture and the arts, said: “This is such an exciting project for our city and now we can see it gathering pace. It will create a real landmark building for the city and a lasting legacy from our year as UK City of Culture.”
The new site is needed as the Arts Council Collection, managed by the Southbank Centre on behalf of Arts Council England, has reached capacity across its two current collections stores.
Peter Heslip, Director, Visual Arts, Arts Council England said: “ “The Arts Council is delighted to reach this stage of the project when work can begin to convert the building, securing a future facility for the Art Council Collection as the leading lending collection.”
Skinder Hundal, Director of Arts at the British Council said: “We are thrilled to have a new home in Coventry for our Collection.
“For over 84 years, the British Council has been collecting works of art to use in our cultural relations programmes, sharing the achievements of the very best UK-based artists with people around the world.”
Paul Breed, Chief Executive of Culture Coventry, added: “We are delighted that work on the Collection Centre is progressing well and look forward to growing this partnership, which will significantly enhance the offer at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, whilst also ensuring that our wider vehicle collection can become more accessible to the public.”