Ambitious plans to create a new cultural hub in Coventry city centre that could boost the region’s economy are set to take a number of significant steps forward in the coming months.

Construction on the former IKEA building, to transform it into a large-scale cultural landmark with facilities for residents and visitors to the city to enjoy, is planned to begin in the summer.

Currently called the City Centre Cultural Gateway, the prestigious scheme is a partnership between Coventry City Council, Arts Council England, the British Council, Arts Council Collection and CV Life. Coventry University will also be part of the project and will occupy two floors of the building.

The plans are to be discussed at a meeting of Coventry City Council’s Cabinet on 12 March, providing more detail on the future plans.

A report to be considered by councillors shows that initial, high-level economic modelling has estimated that delivery of the project has the potential to support temporary construction jobs and longer-term jobs in arts, culture, tourism and hospitality related sectors.

It predicts the scheme could generate around £185m in Gross Value Added (GVA) for Coventry and the West Midlands over a 10-year period.

Subject to Council and partner approvals, construction work is set to start in Summer 2024 with the aim to be completed by late Summer 2025.

The construction will allow partners to create a space to be used in a variety of ways. The refitted building will host everything from collections management facilities, artists’ studios and post-production filming facilities to galleries and a public cafe.

A report will be discussed by Cabinet next week to provide an update on the project as well as permission to potentially bring the former car park on floors one and two of the building into use if there is sufficient interest from external organisations.

Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “I am thrilled that we are moving towards the construction commencing for this fantastic project which brings national partners, Arts Council England, Arts Council Collection and the British Council, to Coventry. The City Centre Cultural Gateway will be such a brilliant addition to our city, and it will be open for residents, visitors and industry professionals to use.

“This scheme will breathe new life into the city and despite the financial challenges this council, like all local authorities, currently faces, and this demonstrates our commitment and ambition to continue to improve the city.

“We cannot stand still, and this scheme is the first step to delivering even more. It has the potential to bring so much to the city and offer opportunities to so many.

“It will be a positive transformation for our city as the building has boundless potential and we’re eager to showcase that together with our partners.

“Each floor has a different but exciting use. We envisage it will become a dynamic space for people to work, learn and relax whilst maintaining its role for the management of collections of national significance.

“I look forward to sharing the progress of the construction over the next 12 – 18 months.”

The ground floor will host the building’s reception area and a public cafe. CV Life will relocate the Council-owned vintage vehicles in storage to the ground floor, whilst relocating social history, human history and archaeological artefacts into wider collection management spaces in the building. This will allow for more public access to these collections through organised visits.

The third floor will become the main area for collection storage, which has double-heighted ceilings, whilst the majority of the fourth floor will be used as office space for staff.

Coventry University will occupy floors five and six. The university will create a Cultural Hub that will offer a variety of facilities for students, visitors and the community.

Further information on partners and the project can be found at: