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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.

Warwick's Culture

Our new Cultural Strategy - Warwick's Culture- aims to inspire our engagement with local and regional communities and their aspirations, building on our active connections with key civic and regional cultural partners.

Our Cultural Strategy will play an active role in Coventry Culture Works, a new initiative between the University of Warwick, Coventry City Council and Coventry University, which will support the city’s cultural and creative economy and invest in a new Head Culture and Creative Economy at Coventry City Council.

Find out more about Warwick's Culture

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Warwick's Culture - the 2030 strategy

Warwick Arts Centre

Warwick Arts Centre is one of the largest multi-artform venues in the UK, delivering a high quality, engaging, and diverse programme of performing and visual arts, concerts, films, festivals, education and learning activities, and special events - all presented in world-class venues and spaces.

The arts centre opened in 1974 and is at the heart of our campus in Coventry. Since then, it has been a distinctive and special place, an important resource for both the arts and audiences in the region, as well as a significant force in national and international arts networks. It has recently been significantly expanded and upgraded, the biggest transformation in the arts centre's history, and now has a spacious new foyer, three state-of-the-art cinema screens, and a remodelled contemporary art space, the Mead Gallery.

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

Explore everything our Arts Centre has to offer

Read Vish's story and how he benefited from joining a WAC youth programme as a child

Read about our Youth Leadership Collective for young people from Coventry

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Warwick Arts Centre

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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Our 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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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, 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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Cultural Change Coventry

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 the Culture Change Coventry programmme

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Culture Change Coventry

University of Warwick PowerHouseGames 2024

We partnered for the second time with Power2Inspire to host their inclusive PowerHouseGames at our Sports and Wellness Hub on 8 February 2024. The games invite local schools to team-up with inspiring sports personalities to compete in university-style sports, including boccia, new age Kurling and goalball. The games are designed to ensure everyone, of all abilities, can take part – and that nobody is “left on the bench”.

Mark Hyndman, Director of Sports and Active Lifestyle at Warwick Sport, said:

“Working in partnership with Power2Inspire to host the PowerHouseGames at our accessible Sports and Wellness Hub at the University of Warwick provided an opportunity for inspiring individuals from local schools, our staff networks and student community to enjoy participation in sport in an inclusive and welcoming environment".

Read more about our 2024 PowerHouseGames event

Read more about our 2023 PowerHouseGames event

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Flame of Friendship - Coventry schools torch relay 2024

In the run up to the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic games, 62 Coventry primary, secondary and special educational needs schools will be participating in a torch relay, the Flame of Friendship, which left Coventry Cathedral on Thursday 22 February and finishing on the University of Warwick campus on Monday 8 July. A Finham Park Academy student designed the winning friendship torch which was manufactured by WMG.

Find out more

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Flame of Friendship - School torch relay

British Transplant Games 2023

The British Transplant Games took place from 27 - 31 July in Coventry and aimed to raise awareness of the life-saving benefits of organ donation while encouraging organ recipients to stay active afterwards.

We hosted events such as track and field, tennis, sports hall athletics and darts at several University of Warwick venues including the Westwood Campus Athletics Track, Tennis Centre, Sports and Wellbeing Hub and the Rootes Building.

Read our latest press release 

Discover more about the games

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British Transplant Games

UK Corporate Games 2023

We were proud to host the 30th UK Corporate Games in 2023 from 3-6 August on campus, with our world class sports facilities and award-winning hospitality venues.

From badminton to volleyball, over 150 sporting events took place over the weekend, including Esports for the first time.

Discover more about the games

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Sports and Wellness Hub

Community holiday programmes

We supported the Coventry 2023 Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme for Coventry pupils who are eligible for benefits related free school meals.

In Easter 2023, around 2800 Coventry children benefitted from 90 different clubs/activities through the Coventry HAF programme delivered by 34 directly funded providers.

 Highlights from previous programmes

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WAC and HAF programme 2022

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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Place-based research

Coventry City of Culture 2021 provided an unrivalled opportunity to strengthen and grow our place-based research. Being a principal partner of City of Culture 2021 has helped catalyse new and exciting research projects, and we’re continuing to develop new place-based research and impact with local collaborators across a broad range of topics. Our teams of researchers are building connections in the region and further afield, with projects which look to address key challenges, often through innovative collaborations with artists and creatives, to change lives for the better.

Explore our place-based research

The impact and value of culture

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 our evaluations reports.

Explore our monitoring and evaluation content

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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

The Future Trends series, published as part of the Warwick UK Cities of Culture Project and commissioned by the Arts and Humanities Research Council , discusses ways of thinking about the value of culture: the importance of research in understanding the place of culture in everyday lives, its impact on local people, society, economy and wellbeing and prosperity at large; and how this research-informed approach connects with the needs of policy making. Each title in the series presents an expert analysis of current and future trends concerning key concepts or ideas, supported by case study evidence from Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.

Read more about the Future trends series

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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:

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

"What do you do all day?"

This project looks at how creative freelancers manage their time and to reflect the everyday experience of working as a creative freelancer in the West Midlands.

Find out more

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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Daisyland by Corinne - original image has been cropped.

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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Our Esports Centre

Our Esports Centre can be found at Fusion in the Rootes Building. It has state-of-the-art esports equipment and games, and a bar offering food and drink. The Esports centre is open to everyone.

Bookings are open for pay to play sessions, social events, business events, skills programmes, and school experiences.

More about our Esports Centre

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Esports Fusion Centre

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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Sculpture Trail

You can Take the Sculpture Trail challenge at Warwick Arts Centre! There’s no need to book, simply download our FREE family activity packs and explore the University campus. It’s suitable for all ages and everyone is welcome.

Explore our Sculpture Park

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Richard Deacon sculpture

Family creative fun

Getting creative is for all ages. Our Warwick Arts Centre is excited to welcome you to our building with free, artist led, creative activities for families each week. All of our activities are led by artists and designed for families to create, make and play together.

Discover our family fun activities

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Family fun at Warwick Arts Centre