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Daimler Powerhouse

Daimler Powerhouse

Transformation of the original Daimler car factory into a creative arts hub

Project value

£1.85 million


Godiva Awakes Trust


Nicol Thomas


GCA Consulting (structural), Bion (electrical), Davis & Birch (mechanical)


10 months

Form of procurement  

Design & Build

Form of contract

JCT Design & Build

Completion date

April 2021

The seven-acre site of the former Lawsons’s Daimler car factory in the Radford area of Coventry was acquired by The Wigley Group as a long-term investment in 2006.

The Powerhouse building was the only remaining part of a factory where the first Daimler car was built in 1897, with the rest of the factory destroyed during Second World War bombing. Whilst holding historic significance, it had no modern use for decades and was left in a dilapidated condition.

The Wigley Group worked with arts group Imagineer Productions for eight years to explore possibilities it could be transformed into a creative hub. This required obtaining the relevant planning permissions and grant funding needed to convert the site.

Once this was achieved, work began in September 2020 and included significant asbestos removal, installation of a new roof, restoration of brickwork, new glazing, stabilisation of foundations, relocation of cranes, and a modern fit out including sprung floors and acrobatic equipment.

This highly complex project posed an additional challenge due to the fact it was a locally listed building, close to a Conservation Area. The Wigley Group also worked on a strict deadline to ensure its completion in time for the beginning of the UK City of Culture.

The transformation of Daimler Powerhouse was completed in April 2021 on time and on budget and now provides much-needed and dedicated fully accessible state-of-the-art spaces for existing and emerging artists in the area, with Imagineer signing a 20-year lease.