City College History

Excerpts of Our History, written by Carol Bloxham

The College can trace its origins back to 1828 when the Mechanics Institution was founded in the city. In 1855 the Mechanics Institution was reformed as the Coventry Institute.  It ran programmes in inorganic chemistry, electricity, French, German, agriculture, geometry, animal physiology, building construction, hygiene, botany, advanced arithmetic and shorthand.  Much of the Institute’s other work was to give an elementary education to adults who had missed out on schooling.

In the 1880’s Coventry experienced enormous industrial changes with new engineering products of cycles, motor vehicles and machine tools.  In response a new Technical Institute was opened in 1888 in an old textile warehouse in Earl Street.  In 1913 a new building was designed by a competition which was won by Mr A. W. Hoare.  The outbreak of the First World War prevented any further progress.  When the war ended in 1918 there were 937 students enrolled at the college.  In 1919 the city council acquired three acres of land at the corner of Albany Road and the Butts as a site for the new building.

In 1926 the Institute qualified as a Technical College and changed its name accordingly.  At this time people wanted to take up more training to get better jobs and Coventry led the country in day release apprenticeships with 500 registered in 1931.  Work began on building a new college in August 1933.  The new building was opened in 1935 by the then Duke of York who later became George VI.  When classes began at the new college in 1935 there were 3,332 students enrolled as well as 1,400 students under 16 years of age in attendance at the Junior Evening Schools.

In 2000 a merger of the Technical College with Tile Hill College was agreed and this took place in February 2002 and City College Coventry was born.  The newly merged college moved to its present site in 2008.

Commemorative Brochure 2008