A striking new visitor information centre has been opened outside Coventry Railway Station to help visitors arriving in the city during UK City of Culture and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The futuristic pod on Station Square will provide help with information about events and places to visit, stay, eat and drink, and has created four jobs.
A second visitor information pod is due to open at Pool Meadow Bus Station later this summer and both will be open seven days a week.
The pods’ designs pay homage to Coventry’s post-war use of coloured glass and are made of reflective materials that are covered in a dichroic coating, which shines in different colours as light passes over and through the panels.
The pod at Coventry Railway Station will also be illuminated at night and will lead into Greyfriars Green, where rainbow lighting has been installed.
The project has been funded through the Cultural Capital Investment Fund, which includes an allocation of £250,000 from the Government’s Getting Building Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP). There have also been contributions from Avanti West Coast and the Coventry City of Culture Trust.
Zamurad Hussain, board director at the CWLEP, said the pods would provide a warm welcome to visitors and residents alike while providing the help and information needed for a memorable stay in the city.
He said: “The highly visible visitor pods have been situated at the city’s two transport gateways to help everyone who is coming to the city during UK City of Culture and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and beyond.
“The services which will be provided will boost the tourism, leisure and retail sectors to drive the economy forward which is the key driver of the CWLEP’s Strategic Reset Framework.
“The pods look fantastic and will be a valuable resource for local, regional, national and international visitors.”
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change at Coventry City Council and CWLEP board director, said: “This pod is fantastic and, along with the major works carried out at the station and Pool Meadow, will give visitors a fantastic first impression of our city.
“Our whole city centre is undergoing major change and the visitor pods are a perfect example of the work being carried out as we bring in exciting new design features to stand alongside our heritage – combining the best of the old alongside the best of the new. As you would expect from the UK City of Culture, they are modern and striking in design, but they also have a link to our history, and they tie in beautifully with the way light is now being used around our new-look centre.
“We are going to welcome a lot of visitors in the years ahead as we continue to grow and develop as a major destination city and these pods are a key part of that future.”
Creative Giants, a specialist art-led project management team and studio, which has joined forces with artists to create installations for the Glastonbury Festival and Coventry City of Culture, has worked with Coventry City Council to design the two visitor information pods.
Over the next few weeks, interactive touch screens will also be added so people can view events and book tickets even when the pods are closed.