1950’s “time capsule” to become upmarket hotel

Further to Trinity Mirror’s decision to sell off the former headquarters building of the Coventry Telegraph, it has been revealed that Complex Development Projects (CDP) plans to transform the building into a boutique hotel.

The company has been responsible for a number of city centre regeneration and development projects, including the restoration of medieval houses in Coventry’s Far Gosford Street.

Considered to be one of the most iconic post-war buildings in Coventry City centre, the Corporation Street property was home to the Coventry Telegraph for more than 50 years before the newspaper moved to its current Canal Basin headquarters in 2012.

The building has remained vacant ever since.

CDP managing director Ian Harrabin said that the decision to breathe new life into the former newspaper office and turn it into an upmarket hotel had been taken in the light of CDP’s commitment to preserve aspects of Coventry city centre’s post-war architectural heritage.

He said: “There is growing recognition of the importance of the city’s post-war redevelopment, when Coventry led the world in the planning of its ‘new’ city centre. The minimalist design of the 1950s was a major change from what had gone before and is becoming fashionable again today.

“The Telegraph building is a local landmark and was at the centre of community life for almost 50 years.”

Pic:  Journalists in the Coventry Telegraph’s former newsroom

Pic:  Journalists in the Coventry Telegraph’s former newsroom

Trinity Mirror had obtained outline planning approval to demolish the former Telegraph building and replace it with a mixed-use development. But it did not have plans to develop the site itself. Now CDP plans to retain many of the original period features within the building as a central part of its pioneering hotel project.

Mr Harrabin added: “Planning consent had already been given for its demolition, but we decided to see whether we could save it as an important piece of our more recent heritage. The most surprising thing is the interior – it’s like a time capsule of the 1950s, with the reception area, boardroom and Lord Iliffe’s flat still intact.

“Our plans are only at an early stage but the idea is to create a hotel that celebrates the 1950s and Coventry’s story of resurrection. We hope to use the Telegraph’s archives to tell the news stories of the day in a creative way.

“It is especially important in the run-up to the City of Culture bid that we celebrate things that are uniquely Coventry. All of the hotels in the city centre are national brands - what we plan is something very different, a one-off and a special Coventry place to stay.”