Home Arts & Culture Coventry Theatre Group Bidding To Raise £1.1 Milllion To Buy City Centre Building

Coventry Theatre Group Bidding To Raise £1.1 Milllion To Buy City Centre Building

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A Coventry theatre group is bidding to raise £1.1m to buy the city centre building that has been its home since 2012. Registered Charity Ego Performance Company currently rents the converted 1960s warehouse on Cook Street, but redevelopment means it is threatened with demolition unless funding can be found to purchase the freehold and secure its future. And the group has ambitious plans for its long-term development – including the creation of a unique rooftop performance space with panoramic views.

Starting life in 2006 as a response to lack of theatre provision for young people in the city, Ego has now become a thriving community with a rapidly-expanding membership and a strongly inclusive focus. The only arts venue in the UK to be programmed and managed by a youth management team, its impressive list of activities includes weekly theatre workshops for all ages from four years old upwards, twelve original theatrical productions a year staged by its own company and a host of music, comedy and cinema events. Additionally, it boasts a 100% vegan café/bar, operates a meal bank system for homeless people and refugees, and is particularly proud of its work with adults and young people with learning disabilities.

The group has now launched an appeal to raise the funds to buy the building and convert it into a fully accessible city-centre arts hub. Their exciting vision for the future could see currently unused areas brought back to life as an expanded streetside café, pod accommodation for emerging local artists, one-stop ticket shop for Coventry cultural events and a home for outdoor exhibitions on the building’s existing window bank. New glass doors could also transform the former loading-bay and stock-room into a huge 500-seat auditorium with potential to spill out via a terrace to a pocket park. And then, of course, there’s that very special rooftop space…

The campaign to buy the building will get a kickstart in January with the release of a series of films by Archie Guinard about Ego and its work. Marketing Officer and Administrator Kiri Lewis said “We hope people will get behind this appeal because it’s not just our appeal, it’s everyone’s appeal. Our biggest dream for the future is for the people of Coventry to feel comfortable to come in and use this building because we want it to be for them”.

She added that “It’s a great 1960s building, it’s a part of the people’s history of Coventry, and we feel it’s really important to show it off at its best”.

For more information on Ego and how to get involved in the Ego 1.1 appeal, visit the group’s website at http://www.egoperformance.co.uk/

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