A charity spearheading the restoration of a jewel in Coventry’s heritage crown has received an early Christmas present from one of the UK’s largest grant-making trusts.
Historic Coventry Trust has received a grant of £125,000 from Allchurches Trust which last year gave £15.6 million to churches, charities and communities across the UK to address difficult social issues and care for heritage.
The independent charity will use the six-figure sum towards restoring The Charterhouse, its walled gardens and grounds off London Road just outside Coventry city centre.
The grant means Historic Coventry Trust is only £50,000 off its £8 million target towards the Phase 1 project of opening a heritage visitor centre and educational attraction at the Grade 1 Listed 14th century Carthusian monastery, as well as creating the first 30 acres of a planned 70 acre Heritage Park.
The plans – which Historic Coventry Trust will have in place to coincide with Coventry being UK City of Culture in 2021 – also include creating interactive displays charting the extensive history of The Charterhouse, which was founded by King Richard II in 1385, recreating two monks’ cells set in the walled garden and launching a café.
Paul Playford, Grants Officer at Allchurches Trust, said: “The Charterhouse is one of Coventry’s historic treasures but, in many respects, it has been a hidden gem for too long.
“We’re delighted to support this project to restore it to its former glory, not only because it will preserve an important heritage asset for future generations but also because it will be returned to the local community, providing new leisure and learning opportunities and boosting wellbeing through some really exciting partnerships.”
Ian Harrabin, Chairman of the Historic Coventry Trust which is working with Coventry City Council on the ambitious project, said this was a fantastic early Christmas present for all the volunteers and supporters of the charity.
He said: “It is great news as we head into the festive break that we have been successful in our application for a £125,000 grant from Allchurches Trust.
“This sum will help towards preserving one of Coventry’s – and the UK’s – finest heritage properties because The Charterhouse is one of only two Carthusian Monasteries with significant remains in the UK, and its 15th and 16th century wall paintings are among our finest examples of medieval and Elizabethan art.
“The outcome of our work will leave a legacy for future generations because schoolchildren and visitors will find out more about this exciting period in history as well as having the opportunity to learn outdoors.
“Having better facilities for outdoor learning to learn more about heritage and nature will lead to improved educational performances and the new heritage visitor centre will strengthen our links with people living nearby because of the community facilities, activities, and employment and training opportunities that will be generated.
“Research shows the local economy will benefit by around £4 million annually from The Charterhouse and the grant from Allchurches Trust means we are on track to make all of this a reality by 2021, when the national and international spotlight will shine on Coventry as UK City of Culture.”
Work is due to start on The Charterhouse scheme in the New Year.
Allchurches Trust has also given grants in Coventry to St Catherine’s Church in Stoke Aldermoor towards a new church and community hub; St Mary Magdalen Church in Chapelfields towards repairing and protecting the unusual design of this historically significant heritage building; and the House of Empowerment in Longford towards the restoration and reopening of a dilapidated Victorian baptist chapel for worship and as a focus for community outreach to people in one of the most deprived parishes in Coventry.