On 26 October, Phil Whittingham, Managing Director of Avanti West Coast joined Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of Network Rail, and Andy Street, the Mayor of West Midlands, for a tour of the new Coventry Station, followed by a roundtable discussion on the introduction of the Great British Railways (GBR), and tour of the Turner Prize Exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.
Coventry Station has been undergoing a major redevelopment over recent years, led by Coventry City Council as part of a wider redevelopment of the surrounding Friargate area which will continue to regenerate the area for the next 15 years. The £82 million station redevelopment scheme has been part funded by West Midlands Combined Authority and the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Avanti West Coast has actively supported the redevelopment of the station and provided match funding for the cycle storage facility as well as approximately £500k funding to enhance waiting rooms and lighting. It is also jointly funding artwork installations across the station with Coventry City Council to give a visible lift to the original station. Avanti will take over the operation of the extended station from December/January.
The roundtable following the station tour provided a valuable opportunity for Avanti West Coast to hear from Andy Street on rail investment in West Midlands, and from Andrew Haines around work underway on GBR and its challenges and opportunities. Avanti is keen to ensure it is at the forefront of these investments and reforms to ensure the passenger is at the heart of the changes that will be made with real benefits for customers.
Finally, Avanti West Coast was invited to a private tour of the Turner Prize 2021 exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, as the official transport partner for Coventry City of Culture. Coventry City of Culture is expected to bring approximately 2.5 million visitors to the region during the 12-month programme which runs from May 2021 – April 2022. The Turner Prize is a key event of City of Culture and is one of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art events.
Avanti is the official transport partner of Coventry City of Culture with its partnership focusing on the Turner Prize.