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Guildhall transformation project

St Mary's Guildhall 2020


Coventry City Council are working on exciting plans to deliver a better visitor offer for St Mary’s Guildhall. 

Improvements are needed to make sure that the Guildhall can deliver an all year-round first-class offer to visitors, businesses and the local community. It’s a significant building in the city’s history, and the improvements will protect and enhance the city’s heritage for local people, and for the expected 2.5 million visitors during Coventry’s City of Culture year starting in May 2021. 

The planned scheme is valued at £5.6m and, alongside some Council funding, we have successfully raised £2.2m funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and thanks to National Lottery players achieved a Stage One award of £78,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which will enable officers to develop a Stage Two application for further revenue and capital funding of £1.7m. 

Earlier this year extensive work took place to investigate the remains of the medieval kitchens, thought to be among the earliest surviving kitchens in the country. View images of these works. This was the first phase in the transformation project, with key elements of future works including: 

  • Repair and conservation work to the building and the most significant historic spaces, including the conservation and re-presentation of the precious tapestry
  • Restored and conserved medieval kitchen with public access
  • Creation of a new, modern catering kitchen to support meetings, conferencing, civic, community and commercial events 
  • Upgrading of mechanical and electrical systems including heating and lighting;
  • Renovation work to spaces to support greater meeting and conferencing use;
  • Improved visitor access to the Muniment Room;
  • Creation of a viewing gallery over the courtyard space facilitated by the removal of the existing bar;
  • Improved toilet and customer facilities; including a new welcome area, signage and reception.
  • Improved visitor experience, with new interpretation developments including proposed digital interactive visitor engagement.
  • Enhanced disability access and circulation.
  • New Education and learning offer.

Next steps

  • August 2020 – Survey work to commence on the Tapestry   
  • September 2020 – Submission of Stage 2 National Heritage Fund application. Construction and conservation work to commence
  • December 2020 - Commencement of Phase 2 building works

How can I get involved?

We want as many residents, businesses, community groups and visitors as possible to get involved in the Guildhall Project. Even at this early stage there are plenty of ways you can join in.

If you are involved with a Local History Group, a Community Group, or an education team which would like to be part of the Guildhall Project, please get in touch with us.

If you are a group involved with performance or the arts, and you have ideas for activities or events which you could help arrange, please let us know!

You can get in touch with us by emailing