Coventry's historic ribbon
factory is set for a new lease of life - but only after former
residents had left their grimy mark!
Development Projects - Coventry City Council's partner in the Phoenix
Initiative - bought the dilapidated property in New Buildings last
month and has already agreed a deal to convert the ground and lower
ground floors into a bar and restaurant, and the upper floors into
But the company faced an
arduous job before building work can begin for real in the coming
A group of pigeons had made
the roof area its home for several years with inevitable consequences.
Director Brian Harrabin said:
"It took three men
about four days to remove the pigeon droppings and they managed to
fill more than 350 sacks!
“It was not the most
pleasant of jobs but it had to be done and it allows us to start
"I am not sure how long
the pigeons had been roosting there but they had clearly enjoyed one
of the finest viewpoints in Coventry and had made themselves well
and truly at home.
"I am reliably informed
that pigeon droppings are good for the garden - but none of the guys
seemed to keen to take their work home with them and I can't say I
The company is now trying to
find out more about the building, which overlooks the new Priory
Gardens and enjoys one of the finest views of Holy Trinity Church.
It was constructed as a ribbon
factory in the 19th century, but was only used for that purpose for a
few decades before the industry declined.
It later became the drill
rooms and armoury for the Coventry Rifle Volunteers, housed a dance
school on the top floor, and was used as the Exchange and Mart Store
and a betting office.
Mr Harrabin added:
which has offices in London and Coventry, recently announced plans to
create a £12 million canal-side residential and commercial centre in
"The dance floor on
which thousands of local people learned to waltz and foxtrot is
still in place on the top storey, which has very high ceilings where
the ribbon looms were situated."