HomeFundingProjectsCreativeCoventry City of Culture

Coventry City of Culture

Spirit of 2012 awarded a major £1m grant to Coventry City of Culture Trust to rollout a community programme of cultural activities that address the city’s most significant social issues.

The project in numbers


Total grant awards

2019 – 2024

Project duration

Coventry City of Culture Trust

Grantee Organisation

Caring City

Under the umbrella ‘Caring City’, this grant embedded associate producers into four community organisations to develop and deliver community projects in Coventry.

This followed a 12-month pilot, funded by Spirit of 2012, where producers collaborated with community organisations and service users to develop arts and cultural programmes in the lead-up to Coventry City of Culture 2021. During the pilot year a team of specially trained local volunteers were recruited to be Community Evaluators. This team gathered data and feedback from participants and event organisers to support the University of Warwick’s full evaluation of the City of Culture.

The four partner organisations for Caring City were:

Central England Law Centre which works with individuals with experience of homelessness;

Positive Youth Foundation which works with young people from a range of backgrounds, including those who have experience of the criminal justice system and those who are not in education, employment or training;

Grapevine which works with over-65s, care home residents, people experiencing isolation and loneliness (especially those with learning difficulties and disability), and men with lived experience of mental ill health;

Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre which works with asylum seekers, migrants, refugees, and LGBTQ+ people who have fled persecution.

Producers and community members worked together to co-produce an exciting and inclusive programme of events, which took place over the duration of Coventry’s City of Culture year. Highlights included The Walk in partnership with Good Chance Theatre, HOME arts and homelessness festival, and CVX Festival, which was produced by young people in the city.

Coventry Legacy

In October 2022, Spirit of 2012 awarded a grant of £75,000 to Coventry City of Culture Trust to build on the successful work as part of the UK City of Culture – including the Caring City programme – and fund a series of creative commissions.

The first of these commissions, Cosy Creative, was delivered in January and February 2023. The project, devised in response to the cost-of-living crisis, saw participating organisations like Feeding Coventry offer a warm space, food and creative activities across Coventry. When the Coventry City of Culture Trust unfortunately entered into administration in February 2023, Spirit of 2012 allocated the remainder of the Coventry Legacy grant of £25,000 to two organisations that the Trust had worked with previously and planned to partner with again using this Caring City Legacy funding.

Grapevine (November 2023 – October 2024)

Grapevine received a grant of £20,000 to work with Coventry Urban Eden (CUE), a collective of local people committed to promoting and co-creating sustainable green spaces for the enjoyment and benefit of the residents and visitors to Coventry. The grant is being used to support the Collective to increase green spaces, build community leadership and connect ‘green’ community groups and people across the city. These activities will generate learning around if and how being involved with CUE can improve wellbeing and tackle social isolation, along with looking at how CUE can play a key role in connecting existing ‘green’ groups across the city.

Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (September 2023 – December 2023)

Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC) received a grant of £5,000 to develop a five-year creative strategy for their ‘In The City’ event. With this, they aim to deliver an annual programme of arts and events which will acknowledge Refugee Week UK and amplify the voices, experiences, talents and creative skills of refugees and asylum seekers living in Coventry to develop visibility and create awareness and empathy.

Project aims

  1. Increase individual wellbeing
  2. Empower people to contribute creatively to their communities
  3. Improve social connectedness across social borders
  4. Cultivate civic pride and belonging

Explore similar projects

For further information