Coventry’s Pool Meadow bus station is to get a £1.5 million upgrade which will include eye-catching artwork and murals for the 2021 City of Culture.
The bus station’s facelift will also see the installation of new electronic passenger information screens, new LED lighting and colour scheme, refurbished public toilets, new benches, bins and planters.
Pool Meadow, which is run by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), was built in 1994 and was starting to show signs of wear and tear. It currently handles about five million passengers a year.
A computer generated image of how Coventry's Pool Meadow bus station will look for 2021 City of Culture
The specially commissioned artwork will make it an attractive destination for visitors to Coventry for both the 2021 City of Culture and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), is working with Coventry City Council on the project.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Pool Meadow is more than a quarter of a century old and was already due for a facelift and upgrade to ensure it remains clean, comfortable, and easy to use for passengers.
“But with City of Culture now right around the corner, we thought we would seize this unique opportunity to do something special with Pool Meadow around the theme of art and culture to make it a destination its own right.
“This project again demonstrates not only our commitment in investing in improving our public transport services and facilities, but also our commitment to Coventry City of Culture. With £35 million pledged towards the year, the WMCA is City of Culture’s single biggest investor.”
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, Coventry City Council, said: “Pool Meadow is well used by local people and visitors but it’s true that it has become a bit tired, so this investment is really well timed.
“Our year as City of Culture will be one to remember but it’s also really important that we create a legacy for local people and do further work to create a city everyone can be proud of. This investment in the bus station complements our investment at the railway station – giving us two improved transport hubs.”
Coventry City Council and TfWM have been working with place curators Creative Giants to identify artists, both locally and nationally, who can be part of the regeneration of Pool Meadow and ensure art and culture is built into the infrastructure of the building.
Further announcements around the artists involved will be released over the coming months.
Cllr Patricia Hetherton, cabinet member for city services, said: “Pool Meadow is set to be improved with all the basics upgraded to ensure it functions well – but we will also be adding a creative layer that will show off some great art and create a really pleasant place to be.”
The refurbishment has already started with work underway on the new screens and public toilets.
The works include:
Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This makeover for Pool Meadow is the latest example of how we are investing in bus facilities and services across the region to make it more comfortable, more convenient and better value for people to use bus services.
“This includes working with our Bus Alliance partners to introduce contactless fare payment on all services, smartphone apps with live journey information, upgrades to our bus stations and shelters to make the wait a more comfortable experience, increase the number of electric buses to cut pollution and soon we will be introducing fare capping to ensure best value through the Swift travel card."
The works on Pool Meadow follows the completion of the refurbishment of Walsall’s St Paul’s Bus Station last year.