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Culture & Sport

Our region is home to a vibrant culture, from the heritage of Coventry to the diversity of Birmingham. We encourage our communities to support and engage in cultural and sporting activities, both on and off campus helping to make our region a healthy and vibrant place.

Coventry City of Culture 2021

We were a principal partner of Coventry City of Culture 2021 along with Coventry University and Coventry City Council. We were proud to support our local city and be part of the celebrations.

We led the Core Monitoring and Evaluation Team, alongside Coventry University, in the evaluation of the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021. The evaluation programme has evolved in the context of a broader UK policy and organisational environment that has seen a step-change in expectations around evaluation, impact reporting and learning.

Our Resonate Festival launched in May 2021 was a 12-month programme of inspiring and interactive events (many free) for people of all ages across Coventry and Warwickshire to spark ideas, curiosity and creativity. Resonate culminated in a grand finale – a three-day live festival on campus in April 2022. The Resonate Festival was such a huge success that we will be holding the festival again next year and welcoming our friends and neighbours back for another big celebration. Take a closer look at four of the Resonate projects that illustrate some of the valuable partnerships we have formed with the local community.

Read about our activities

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Coventry Cultural Change Strategy

We were commissioned to write a ten-year cultural strategy for Coventry which builds on the city's existing heritage and culture, funded by Coventry City Council and Arts Council England. We are also part of Culture Change Coventry, a coalition of partners who are motivated to act together to ensure that Coventry delivers fully on the potential for culture to drive long-term positive change.

Read about Coventry's culture change programmme

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Culture Change Coventry

Warwick Arts Centre

Our recent transformation of Warwick Arts Centre creates an exciting, modern and accessible new space that combines refurbished and upgraded pre-existing spaces with new areas where everyone is welcome.

These include a spacious and more welcoming foyer, three new cinemas (complete with high-end digital projection and sound), a repositioned Mead Gallery, and a new restaurant. Warwick Arts Centre is the region’s leading cultural centre, a place for unforgettable arts and entertainment experiences.

In 2019-20, 10,554 school-age children participated in Warwick Arts Centre creative learning activities.​

Explore everything our Arts Centre has to offer

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Our Sports and Wellness Hub

Our world-class sports facility opened in 2019 with a mission to inspire and motivate our students, staff and the wider community to engage in an active lifestyle that supports physical and mental wellbeing. The hub houses a modern 230 station gym, a 25m 12-lane swimming pool, over 100 fitness classes and a climbing wall and is accessible to all.

We want to build the most active campus community in the UK, keeping our communities active.

“The gym has made a huge difference to my physical strength, and it’s even noticeable when I’m doing jobs at home or in the garden.” Read Tom's exercise story

Read more about our strategy

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Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022

We’re helping set the West Midlands stage as our region hosts the Commonwealth Games in 2022. Find out more about Warwick’s role and how our facilities will be used by 2,000 world-class, international athletes.

Find out more about our role

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International Children's Games 2022

We will be co-hosting the International Children's Games in Coventry from 11 -16 August 2022 in partnership with Coventry City Council, Coventry University and CV Life. We’ll be hosting competitors at our multi award-winning campus hospitality venues, Warwick Conferences, and also supporting the climbing, table tennis, athletics and football events at our world-class sport facilities.

Find out more about our role

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Climbing wall

Our new Esports Centre

With Warwickshire’s Silicon Spa internationally recognised as a games cluster generating some of the best-known games titles and brands, our Esports Centre, located at the heart of the Warwick campus, is working closely with regional and national partners including CWLEP, Create Central, and the West Midlands Combined Authority to lead on esports. The Esports Centre is open to everyone.

More about our Esports Centre

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Community holiday programmes

We supported the Coventry 2021 Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme for Coventry pupils who are eligible for benefits related free school meals. In the summer holidays, the programme delivered approximately 100,000 hours of positive activities and 25,000 meals to approximately 2,000 Coventry children and young people. We are supporting the HAF programme again in 2022.

 View "Summer of Fun 2021" video

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Strachan Football Foundation

The Strachan Football Foundation, a not for profit company, bases their academy at our world class sports facilities. Many of the young people on the programme come from the Coventry and North Warwickshire area.

Read more about the Strachan Football Foundation

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City of Culture Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

We developed the City of Culture Performance Monitoring and Evaluation strategy in partnership with Coventry University, the Coventry City Council and the Coventry City of Culture Trust. At its heart is a Theory of Change for evaluating the cultural, social, economic and health and wellbeing and other impacts of the City of Culture 2021 programme and activities on the City and its peoples. View the latest report (January 2022).

Explore some of our local case studies

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City of Culture local case studies

City of Culture research projects

We are working with the local community to generate impactful research to benefit Coventry throughout the year of the City of Culture and beyond. From exhibitions with local artists, to food resilience, to regenerating local green spaces, we're creating pioneering projects and bringing research to fresh audiences in new and exciting ways. Researchers have worked with lots of different local communities on projects that focus on making connections, unearthing hidden stories, and positively impacting people’s lives.

Read about our research projects

For more examples of how we are pointing the way ahead towards a better and fairer future for all, visit Research Stories | University of Warwick.

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Cultural mega events

Cultural mega events must bring about societal change – and to do this the sector itself must become equitable and open to new collaboration. These were the conclusions of a report summarising the discussions, ideas and findings of leading figures from the UK’s arts and culture sectors and Coventry City of Culture 2021. We published the report, entitled The Road Ahead: Creating Irreversible Equitable Change as a result of the AHRC Coventry Cultural Policy and Evaluation Summit which took place in June 2021.

Read the report findings

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The role of research in UK Cities of Culture

We published a report entitled ‘UK Cities of Culture: towards a research informed approach’ detailing how and why arts and humanities research can add value to the UK City of Culture programme and inform future campaigns. Commissioned by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Review, demonstrates the distinctive role that arts, humanities and social science researchers, in collaboration with other disciplines, can play in place shaping and in the success of the UK City of Culture programme. 

Read more about the report findings

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Coventry City of Culture

Arts & Homelessness in Coventry - New Report

Since 2012, Arts and Homelessness International (AHI) have advocated for the role that arts and creativity can play in helping to build resilience, agency, well-being, skills and social connections for those who are or have been homeless. This research report by the University examines initiatives pioneered by AHI, supported by Coventry City of Culture 2021, to re-think and re-position how arts and creativity can change perceptions, policy and outcomes for those who are or have been homeless in Coventry. It examines two initiatives specifically:

  • A Legislative Theatre project to refresh Coventry City Council’s homelessness policy and rough sleeper strategy via co-production methodologies.
  • HOME: arts and homelessness festival that ran from the 9th - 16th October 2021 to coincide with World Homelessness Day on 10th October.

Read the report

For more examples of how we are pointing the way ahead towards a better and fairer future for all, visit Research Stories | University of Warwick.

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Arts and homelessness in Coventry

Sports and Wellness Hub

Our 40,000m2 Sports and Wellness Hub opened in May 2019 and includes a multi-functional sports hall; the biggest gym in the higher education sector; a 25m-long swimming pool; 17m-high indoor climbing walls; fitness suites; and squash courts. It is designed to be physically accessible to all to encourage participation by all with Changing Places facilities and a Pool Pod lift.

Visit the Sports and Wellness Hub

Memberships for the local community

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Warwick Arts Centre

One of the largest multi-artform venues in the UK, delivering a high quality, engaging, diverse programme of cinema, performing and visual arts, presented in world-class venues and spaces at the heart of campus.

What's on at Warwick Arts Centre

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University Art Collection and Mead Gallery

Visiting us on campus is a chance to discover the University of Warwick’s unique collection of modern and contemporary visual art and sculpture.

Discover the collection

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New Faculty of Arts building

Our new Faculty of Arts Building (FAB) is a space for students, staff and the public which will put collaboration and engagement at the heart of a new campus 'cultural quarter'.

Explore our new FAB building

Learn about the FAB Mural from local artist Matthew Raw

Watch a video on the FAB

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Campus walks

Our 290 hectare campus and surrounding area offers a lovely environment for a short stroll or a longer adventure. Find out more about two suggested routes: around our lakes or through the Warwickshire countryside.

Explore our maps

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