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[16 FEB 99] COVENTRY CITY COUNCIL PRESS RELEASE
A New Coat For Blue Coats

A Grade II* listed building in the heart of Coventry is set to be restored to its former glory, thanks to the Phoenix Initiative, Coventry City Council’s Millennium project.

Work starts this week to transform both the inside and the outside of the old Blue Coat School, off Priory Row, opposite Holy Trinity Church. Built in 1856-7 it has stood empty and neglected for nearly 10 years, but funds from the Phoenix Initiative will ensure it gets a new lease of life as the new Holy Trinity Church Centre.

The Victorian Gothic building was originally an orphanage and school for girls going into domestic service. In 1940 all the pupils were evacuated and during the war this astonishing building was a canteen for bus drivers and a billet for firemen. More recently it has been an office for the Alcohol Advisory Service.

The Phoenix Initiative is funding a complete restoration of the building, repairing the roof and stone masonry, to installing all the amenities inside, including a new extension on the rear service yard, to allow disabled access. This service yard was the site of the recent archaeological excavation where a number of fascinating funds were made, including an early medieval gold ring. The archaeological investigation of the main site, in front of the Blue Coat School, is due to start in April.

Project Director Chris Beck said,

"This listed building is a gem in the middle of town that few of us ever see or even know exists. It’s wonderful to think we can not only restore it and place it in an appropriate setting for everyone to see but that we can also put it back to good community use."

The work is being carried out by J Harris and Son, the Stratford based builders, who also carried out the recent restoration work on the Lychgate Cottages in Priory Row, it is due to be completed at the end of this year.

The Vicar of Holy Trinity Church Canon David Urquhart said,

"We will miss the modern church centre but are looking forward to transferring our activities with young people, work with the homeless and many other community events to the old Blue Coat School building."

NOTES

  1. Scaffolding is being erected around the building this week.
     
  2. The current Holy Trinity Community Centre, in Priory Row, is due to be demolished to allow for the excavation of Coventry’s original 13th century Cathedral. The archaeological remains will then be incorporated into a sunken garden on the site.
     
  3. The Phoenix Initiative is a 20 million project jointly funded by the millennium Commission and Coventry City Council. The urban regeneration scheme will link the Cathedral Quarter and the MBRT through a series of public squares and gardens.

MORE INFORMATION: 
Media and Communications Team  01203 832247

   

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email chris@cwn.org.uk

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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 16 Feb 99

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