The Litten Tree, in the Bullyard, is a pub on the edge of Coventry City Centre. The building that has a long and interesting history, is soon to become a Pop-up Art space. It will specialise in Heritage and Art of the people of Coventry. Built in 1911 as the Rover Car Company Showrooms, was the front of the factory. The factory spanned a massive area, all the way back to IKEA and the market. Originally it was producing motorbikes and cycles, but expanded into cars.
With only a three year lease, ending in 2022. The building is on the demolition list along with the rest of the Bull Yard which is due to be cleared for the new shopping centre, City Centre South. There is already objections to the sweeping area locally, as it will destroy both public art which is unlikely to be able to be relocated, and historical buildings such as the Litten Tree.
The building itself has been neglected for many years. The only things in the floors above the pub are a few staff flats, and a photography studio. The rest of the floors have been used as storage areas for years of accumulated stuff. Things Like Santa sleighs, boxes of books and general furniture.
The day I visited, Alan Denyer, of AWD Restoration, who has created this project, was waiting for a giant skip, ready to begin clearing the space. It was a massive task, but already since my visit, the photos show what a difference he is making. Alan had found out about the space from a local photographer who lives in one of the flats. With a deal to use the space for free, he hopes it will be even more successful then his previous project at the Coventry Evening Telegraph (CET) where he did a pop-up art space which saw 25,000 visitors during the year it was open.
The first space that will be opening will be the gallery above the pub, which will be given a coat of white paint and will be ready to display art work really soon. Alan is confident that the vast majority of the space will be ready for the City of Culture launch in May. He plans to keep the urban decay of the venue, which will be part of the joy of the venue.
The most exciting part of the project for me, is the fact Alan plans to give artists the space to show their work for free. This gives people a foot in the door with the City Of Culture celebrations in the city during 2021-22. Hoping to use projection, theatrical lighting and self guided tours, Alan hopes to showcase the heritage, architecture and creativity.
We will keep you updated on this project and hope to cover future events Hosted by the Litten Tree Building. So watch this space!