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The UK City of Coventry will transform a former IKEA Store into one of the biggest cultural hubs in the world.

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The seven-storey Ikea building closed its Coventry venue in March 2020, but new proposals will see it become home to national and local artworks and collections. The Coventry city council acquired the building, which was vacated by the Swedish company last February, after the plan to convert it into a new arts centre was approved.

The city council said that it could also display more than 8,500 works from the British Council's collection, as well as works from the local Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and the Coventry Transport Museum, which are currently stored in the White Friars' Monastery and that will now be freed up for restoration.  

 

A preview of the proposed design for the new center. Credit: Coventry City Council.

 

According to the BBC, the new artistic hub is due to open in August 2023: planning permission to change the use of the building should be approved by the end of 2021 and construction will start in the spring of 2022. 

The authority said it was a "unique opportunity" for something the city could "be properly proud of".

Cllr Jim O'Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said it would "bring jobs and skills" to the city, as well as attracting interest from a regional, national and international audience.

"As a council, we said we wanted to look at ways of bringing this landmark building back into use as something special, and I believe this is what this proposal will achieve."

Darren Henley, chief executive of the Arts Council, added that the new facility will also enable the city to support living artists, create more opportunities for students and, most importantly, ensure that these works are reached by more people across the country.

 

Cover image: A preview of the proposed design for the new center. Credit: Coventry City Council

Written by Elena Parcianello

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