Tom Robinson, songwriter and broadcaster, is among a host of world-renowed musicians and artists lined up to take to the stage of City of Culture winner Coventry’s newest music venue, Drapers Hall.
Drapers Hall, located in Bayley Lane, opens its doors this Autumn as a venue not just for music performance, but musical education also. The Grade II listed building recently went through a £5 million restoration headed up by Historic Coventry Trust in conjunction with Coventry City Council. This renovation comes after the building remained preserved and unused for almost 30 years, awaiting its new use.
Tom Robinson, who is the host of weekly shows on Radio 6 Music, and has released over 20 albums, both as a solo artist and as a part of a band, will be the first artist to take to the freshly renovated stage, presenting his solo show on Thursday November 11th.
He will be followed by Swedish violinist, Johan Dalene on November 21st, and award-winning saxophonist, and 2016 BBC Young Musician Of The Year finalist, Jess Gillam on November 25th.
These will likely be the first of many, many concerts to be held as the new venue, as Historic Coventry Trust have been granted a 250-year lease by the Council, and are to manage the building as a home for the Coventry Music Service, as well as music and events venue.
The building’s major restoration work was carried out with the support of the Prince’s Foundation, as one of the seven projects carried out in celebration of the Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday.
Funding for the building was provided by the Council, which utilised the Cultural Capital programme for UK City of Culture, as well as further funding from Arts Council England and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, via the Government’s Local Growth Fund and the Getting Building Fund.
Further funding has been provided by Garfield Weston Foundation, Wolfson Foundation, Foyle Foundation, the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation, Swire Charitable Trust, London and Coventry Drapers Guilds, Alan Edward Higgs Charity, 29th May 61 Charitable Trust, Backstage Trust, Architectural Heritage Fund and Allchurches Trust.
Coventry’s City of Culture celebrations kicked off earlier this year with its city-wide “Coventry Moves”, launch. The celebrations include established events such as the Booker Prize and Turner Prize announcements both being held in the city this year, to productions created especially for City of Culture.
It is expected that Coventry’s year as City of Culture will see an economic boost of £211 million with an additional 2.5 million visitors. It is hoped that 80 per cent of the city’s residents will engage with the programme three or more times across the year, and it will attract around 10,000 volunteers and create more than 900 jobs.
Coventry is the third UK City of Culture with Derry-Londonderry the first city to take up the mantle in 2013, followed by Hull in 2017.Partner is the British Council.
UK City of Culture is a competition run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport every four years. The competition celebrates culture in all its forms across the UK and helps to stimulate economic growth, create jobs in the community and attract inward investment.