Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry Cathedral in £3.5m City of Culture revamp

Coventry Cathedral Image copyright Coventry Cathedral
Image caption Coventry Cathedral is expected to have a main role in the City of Culture activities

Coventry Cathedral is set for a £3.5m revamp in time for its City of Culture role in 2021.

Planning permission has been won for the first extension at the venue since it opened in 1962 next to the ruins of the old site devastated by WW2 bombs.

Under the scheme, the cathedral pavilion is earmarked for a larger cafe, education space and new lift.

Dean of Coventry, the Very Rev John Witcombe, said it would make the site "fully welcoming and accessible".

More than 300,000 people visit the Grade I-listed cathedral each year, a spokesperson for the venue said, and an increased number is expected during Coventry's tenure as 2021 UK City of Culture.

Dean Witcombe said the cathedral was set to be "at the heart" of the celebrations.

The new pavilion is phase one of a four-phase project planned for completion by 2021, with the scheme set to cost £3.5m in total.

A fundraising drive is under way, with £772,000 already secured from the government's Local Growth Fund along with £1.45m from other sources.

The first-phase plans have been inspired by architect Sir Basil Spence's original proposals for a Christian Service Centre at the site which was never built.

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