The Drapers’ Hall Trust has received initial support* from The Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant of £2 million to help restore the Drapers’ Hall, Bayley Lane, Coventry for use as a small music performance venue. The project also received unanimous approval at Coventry City Council’s planning committee in June, giving the project the green light to press ahead with its matched fundraising and historical research. Work is due to start in summer 2015 with the building set to re-open its doors the following year.
The project aims to restore the Drapers’ Hall, built in 1832. The suite of social rooms in the Hall will be refurbished sympathetically internally and externally to bring them back to their former glory. The Trust will also be adding an extension to house modern facilities, disabled access and an instrument library. The Hall will be used by both Coventry University’s Performing Arts Department and Coventry City Council’s Performing Arts Service as well as being open to the public for instrument and room hire. Music Coventry will be hosting and promoting an exciting range of concerts and musical events.
Volunteers will help to carry out social history recordings and archaeological research before works begin to understand more about the building and its site which has been occupied by Drapers since medieval times. Some items have been excavated on previous digs and will be on display at The Hall when it opens.
Peter Knatchbull-Hugessen of The Drapers’ Hall Trust said “We’re delighted to have received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, it really gives this project kudos and shows the importance of the building and the need to bring it back to life with music as it was intended.”
Plans and information about the project can be seen on display at Drapers Bar & Kitchen in Coventry.