Lottery funding secured for young peoples’ war project

Arts group to tell story of industrial effect on WWI.

Imagineer Productions have been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to fund their project, Daimler Powerhouse: The War Years working with their Transformation Group made up of young people aged 16–24.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will specifically explore the history and heritage of the Daimler Powerhouse and the impact the Daimler works had on the First World War, the city of Coventry and the country.

Research will be carried out locally and at the Imperial War Museum including interviews with local families with a connection to the factory. Based on this research Imagineer Productions are creating a site specific performance, created and produced by the Transformation Group, which will take place at 8pm on 15th-17th September in and around the Daimler Building on the Sandy Lane Business Park in Radford, Coventry.

Research undertaken by the group has to-date unearthed the story of Henry Lawson and how he acquired a former cotton mill in Drapers Field and the Coventry Motor Mills was born. Considered to be the genesis of Motor car production in Great Britain it went on to become the Daimler Works.

Within a month of the First World War being declared Daimler supplied 300 vehicles for army use. Daimler also became the leading commercial engineering firm in Britain to enter into aero engine and aeroplane manufacturing. In 1915 they reached an agreement with the War Office to lease part of their Radford land to erect an aerodrome. During the war years they built, supplied and developed vehicles, engines, tanks and aeroplanes and munitions. They produced more 12” shells than any other factory in the country!

Kathi Leahy, Associate Director with Imagineer Productions said: “We are delighted that Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded us this Grant to create the Daimler Powerhouse: The War Years performances and exhibition. Key to the project is working with the young people to unearth the stories and history at the heart of the Daimler works in Coventry, with a particular focus on the First World War, and this funding will enable us to undertake that research. We look forward to welcoming audiences to the Daimler works to experience the site specific performance and find out more about the heritage of the area for themselves.”

Following the performance the Transformations Group will go on to curate an exhibition exploring the fascinating story of the Daimler Works during World War One and some of the ‘Imagineers’ who played their part in its innovation and success. The e xhibition will run from 26th–30th September in the Daimler Powerhouse 12noon– 4pm each day as part of Imagineers annual Festival of Imagineers which runs from 26th September–1st October.

Daimler Powerhouse: The War Years will be made up of a community cast aged from 16-70 including dancers from Elite Academy and Physical performers from Highly Sprung Performance Company. Admission is by ticket only. Tickets are free but need to be booked in advance as spaces are limited. To secure your ticket please contact Imagineer Productions: or call Kathi Leahy – 07969 355488.

For further information on Daimler Powerhouse: The War Years or the Festival of Imagineers visit