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ISG mobilises for £150m Coventry Ikea conversion

4 Jul ISG has been named main contractor for a project to turn Coventry’s empty Ikea store into an art gallery and cultural centre.

What used to be Ikea will by next year be the Coventry City Centre Cultural Gateway
What used to be Ikea will by next year be the Coventry City Centre Cultural Gateway

The Coventry City Centre Cultural Gateway is being created within the shell of the former Ikea homeware store to provide a home for are collections and provide space for new research facilities.

Having been appointed via the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) construction works framework, ISG begins initial site mobilisation this month and construction is due to start in August. The work is scheduled for completion in autumn 2025. 

Gross development value of the project is £150m.

In addition to transforming the external appearance of the building, with new cladding and spray-painted finishes, ISG will increase the levels of natural light entering the existing structure by installing panoramic windows across the top two floors. As part of changing the use and purpose of the building a major internal reconfiguration will be undertaken, including structural alterations throughout, mechanical and electrical services upgrade, and a full strip out of the 60,000 sqm space. This work also includes the removal of elevated travellators and lifts.

A key element of the scheme sees the transformation of the existing nine-metre-high warehouse area into a temperature-controlled art storage facility, served by a newly installed oversized heavy load lift – nearly three times the size of a standard lift – which will be used to transport large art installations up to the third floor.

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The project promoters are Coventry City Council, Arts Council England, Arts Council Collection, British Council, Coventry University and CV Life (a partnership between Coventry Sports Foundation and Culture Coventry Trust).

Louise Daville, director of public sector strategy at ISG, said: “This is a bold and innovative vision to reimagine former retail space as a cultural hub for the city of Coventry. The Cultural Gateway brings together complementary, yet distinct, partners within a key central location, providing a richly diverse experience for visitors, students and academics.

“The legacy of transformational projects is hugely impactful regionally and on a national scale. With schemes as complex and technically demanding as the Cultural Gateway, the use of the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) construction works framework has been instrumental in assisting early-stage collaboration and driving efficiencies and innovation across the construction process. As we pass this key milestone, we have a highly motivated team focused on delivering an outstanding cultural destination for Coventry.” 

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