Big plans for Coventry Cathedral Pavilion extension

The plans aim to improve the Cathedral’s facilities in time for 2021 when over 2.4 million additional visitors are expected to the city.

Plans have been approved for the first ever extension to Coventry Cathedral since it was first built.

The plans propose the construction of a pavilion, as inspired by the original architect’s plans, located near the Lady Chapel just off the Nave.

The pavilion will be used as an accessible exhibition, events and education space and will enable small exhibitions and events throughout 2021 when Coventry will serve as City of Culture, as well as being a space that can be utilised by schools and community groups.

The pavilion extension will include toilets, a passenger lift, food lift and storage space to facilitate clearing the Nave of chairs on occasions for big events, all with step-free access.

Being amongst the largest venues in the city centre, both indoor and outdoor, the Cathedral has been identified as a key location for the programme delivery for 2021, and it is thought that a new pavilion would support this.

Plans suggest that the new pavilion will be completed by December 2020 at the very latest, just in time for 2021.

The proposed extension is Phase 1 of a larger future development proposal for the north-west corner of the Cathedral Precinct, with this first Phase addressing the lack of essential facilities which the Cathedral has managed without since its construction.

With an additional 2.4 million people expected to visit Coventry during 2021, most of whom will visit the Cathedral Precinct, it’s expected to be a busy calendar year for the Cathedral.

The main areas the extension aims to improve are:

  • Improved access to comply with the Equality Act 2021, providing a passenger lift along the visit route to connect the main Nave to the Undercroft levels at the east end of the Cathedral.
  • New unisex toilet facilities with baby change facilities.
  • New Education Room for use by visiting school groups of 85-90 children, with a designated entrance which avoids public visitor routes.
  • Multi-purpose space to support events in the Nave, functions will include: a Green Room for events and special services, kitchen area for outside caterers serving gala dinners/events, storage of furniture and equipment, meeting space for Cathedral staff and more.
  • Replacing the existing temporary ramp in the north Nave aisle with a new stone ramp.