The CET Building
Community Venue - and home of @CETPOPUP artspace & gallery, CET history centre - and 'The CET self-guided Tour'.
We're at the former Coventry Evening Telegraph Offices & Print-works, at 157 Corporation Street, Coventry.
The CET Building is open again with our regular CET 'self guided tour' - including history displays and memorabilia following our hosting of the inaugural 'Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art' - that ran from 6-22 October 2017.
The Biennial has been a huge success, with over 4000 people attending this free public event - with over 80 artists (including Turner Prize winners!) from all over the UK exhibiting artworks at various venues around the city centre.
nb. Our new 'Urban Cafe' - run by Clare & Carlton - is also open now, serving hot food made freshly in the refurbed 3rd floor 1950s kitchen. We've also added a ramp in the rear display area so that wheelchair users can see the upper ground floor Foundry and Old Press Hall areas as well as the front entrance gallery - plus there's now a pair of newly fixed up toilets at the near end of the main reception, including one suitable for disabled access.
@CETPOPUP is operated by The Historic Coventry Trust (HCT) - and has been created entirely by local Coventry volunteers, with the help of a small donation from Historic England/Coventry Heritage Action Zone. We're a Community Venue - and the space is available for the hosting of creative art (or basically anything interesting!) until the end of 2018 when works are due to begin on the restoration & conversion of the original offices and print room into 'boutique' 50s styled hotel - to be called 'The Telegraph'.
Admission is FREE, and as of 28th October we are open every day from 12-4, with Free Parking for CET Building visitors available on site in the 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).
An entrance charge applies for the tour (suggested donation, £3) - but there really is loads of fascinating stuff to see - with most visitors typically taking about an hour 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, is however very easy to navigate around though - with slideshows and films to watch, displays, cet memorabilia plus lots of interesting stuff to have a browse through.
There are lots of great photography opportunities - so def bring your camera - but don't forget, we want to see your favorite pics from around the building too, so if you're tweeting, please add our hashtag - #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:-