Creative Spaces: CET Pop Up
The CET building, formerly Coventry Evening Telegraph, housed the city’s newspaper from 1959 to 2004 – until dwindling print numbers led the company to relocate across the city to the canal side; into a more modern, efficient workspace. The unforeseen closure of the factory left an aftermath of semi-finished production lines and served as a bitter reminder for ex-employees.
After leaving the building unoccupied for well over a decade, innovator Alan Denyer (friends of the current owners), brought light to the chilling industrial unit by exposing the potential of the former newspaper mill. With over 12months to play around with the space, Denyer decided to open up a unique space that would serve the needs of the local community; and aim to utilize one of Coventry’s many empty buildings. The reborn venue breathes a new lease of life into building, and provides a space for local creatives and enthusiasts alike. The factory’s vast open spaces lend themselves to a wide variety of installations and exhibitions, creating a buzz in the once again busy factory floors.
The team at CET are also offering free self-guided excursions around the remains of what was once the news gathering and dissemination of Coventry; allowing members of the public to explore the venue for themselves, in a bid to bring the history of the space to future generations.
With this emotional return to history, the team behind the restoration are working tirelessly to inspire the next generation into producing a cultural revival of their own - with CET being just one of many regeneration projects over the foreseeable future.
Alongside Denyer, Carlton and Clare Dixon, directors of Urban, a pop-up cafe in the CET building, have been working to create a personal, and unique café in the centre of town - as well as providing a catering service for exhibitions, including Jonny Bark’s ‘Inhabiting Edgelands’ project. Their main aim of the project is “tackling food poverty/waste one meal at a time”- an issue that not only Coventry, but the entire nation can back.
Though the old printing house may have divided communities during its closure, the re-opening is a remorseful rekindling of community in the city.
Following the closure of the Pop-Up space at the end of June, 2018, the building’s next venture is already in sight, with plans drawn up to develop the building into a boutique hotel, sympathetic to its 1950’s architecture. The public will once again be able to take a step back in time and fully appreciate the building all it’s 50’s glory. The plans will see the introduction of over 100 rooms, and an impressive Bar and restaurant area; once again breathing life back into the building - and saluting its prestigious past. There are also plans to create a small, independent cinema, which would provide a great boost to the local arts communities.