157 Corporation Street, Coventry CV1 1GU
We're where you'll find the @CETPOPUP community artspace venue, galleries and mini-museum - an astonishing place to visit, open to the public 12-4 every day - right in the heart of Coventry City Centre!
The site occupies a huge 5000m2 - it's the purpose built printworks, and former HQ of the Coventry Evening Telegraph newspaper, constructed way back in 1957 during Coventry's post-war boom. Full of style, glamour and industrial chic - the building has been purchased recently by developers with a view to conversion into a 100 bed 50's themed boutique hotel & arthouse cinema sometime toward the end of 2018. The Historic Coventry Trust has leased the premises short term, and, with the help of local volunteers, re-opened the space to the public - including an astonishing 1.5km self-guided tour route that winds through offices, panelled boardrooms, machine shops, storage basements and under the giant printing press - all the while introducing the visitor to a regularly-changing selection of artwork, slideshows, films, displays, memorabilia and exhibitions.
@CETPOPUP operates as a not-for-profit Community Venue - with the space available for the hosting of creative art (or basically anything interesting!) until the end of 2018 when re-development is due to begin.
Admission is FREE, and we are open every day from 12-4 - including our brand new Urban Cafe serving hot & cold drinks, food and snacks. Free Parking is available for approx 30 cars in the CET rear service yard on Chapel Street (no direct access to the building from here - but it's just a short 1 minute walk round to the front via Corporation Street).
A suggested donation applies for entrance to the tour route (£3 p/p) - but there really is loads of fascinating stuff to see - with most visitors typically taking at least 60 mins to go around.
Keep in mind - for the tour route - there are several sets of stairs to negotiate so unfortunately wheelchair access isn't possible. The main reception - and upper ground floor to the rear, are very easy for disabled visitors to navigate around though - with slideshows and films to watch, displays, cet memorabilia - plus lots of interesting stuff to have a browse through.
ps. The site has oodles of great photography opportunities - but we want to see your favorite pics too - so if you're tweeting, please tag us - @cetpopup
And finally, if you've a spare 5 mins, why not check out our @cetpopup Facebook page? We've daily updates on progress & what's on - plus lots of pics of new stuff we're discovering around the building.. don't miss out!
ps. If you fancy volunteering to help out here at The CET Building, we'd love to hear from you.
Here's a quick soundbite from Alan Denyer - our lead volunteer..
'I'd only intended spending 2 days, doing a quick clear up - but when you get to look around, it suddenly dawns on you what a great building this is - how herculean the task of producing a newspaper was, and why it's worth the effort to create something that tells the story. Yes we had big factories elsewhere in Coventry - but nothing quite touched everyone in the city like the local newspaper did. In its heyday, there were 600 people employed here - 130,000 newspapers a day with a circulation figure of 360,000 - that's basically everyone in the city, reading the local newspaper.'
'My day job is property restoration - but when I heard about the 'pop-up' art-space idea, and that Historic England had donated £2000 for materials and printing to help make it happen - I thought I'd clear my diary, get volunteering - and give the project 3 months of my time free of charge, as it's a great thing for Coventry to have - right in the heart of the city.
I've had super fun discovering the fantastic quality of the original building - and been completely overwhelmed by the response from people who've seen (and commented on) the pics I've been posting on Facebook (@cetpopup) as work progresses. The last print job might have rolled off the press here 13 years ago - but that's still a mind-boggling 60 million newspapers produced since the facility opened in 1959, and the production facility is still pretty much intact - something most folks (including me!) wouldn't have had a clue about anyway as you can't picture any of it from the outside.
Everyone I've spoken to seems to remember their time like it was just yesterday; great camaraderie, with a sense of pride in the service they were were providing - and it's been fascinating to uncover some of the stories. And, with the 'CET Memories' display, we're hoping to show something of what went on - the building, and processes, changing - as technology - and time - moved on.'
thx Historic England! xx @CETPOPUP
ps. If you'd like to get in touch about possible use or hire of the space - drop us a line below:-