Barbican Hub to Give Lincoln a Creative Boost
One of Lincoln’s most iconic buildings will soon be getting a new lease of life and redeveloped into a creative space for the city. The former Barbican Hotel, on St Mary’s Street near to Lincoln’s Central Railway Station, is to undergo a radical transformation over the coming months and reopen in 2023 as The Barbican Creative Hub.
One of Lincoln’s most iconic buildings will soon be getting a new lease of life and redeveloped into a creative space for the city.
The former Barbican Hotel, on St Mary’s Street near to Lincoln’s Central Railway Station, is to undergo a radical transformation over the coming months and reopen in 2023 as The Barbican Creative Hub.
The development is supported by funding from the Government’s Town Deal Fund, Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone funding and a partnership between the University of Lincoln, UK, and Lincolnshire Co-op.
The Barbican Creative Hub will bring the historic building back into use as a community creative hub by providing a gallery, a café and creative workspaces to super-charge the growth and productivity of the county’s creative industries.
The project was born from a county-wide assessment of the need to support and encourage the growth of the creative sector in Lincolnshire. The assessment, carried out by the University of Lincoln, City of Lincoln Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Greater Lincolnshire Local Economic Partnership, and Arts Council England, found that support was needed for the 11,000 people employed within the county’s creative industries.
More than 30 potential venues were considered for the Creative Hub, but the positioning and architectural significance of the former Barbican Hotel, made it the ideal choice.
Plans for The Barbican Creative Hub feature a public-facing ground floor that includes a café, gallery, retail space and an office. The gallery will provide a space where artists can create and exhibit work that will engage directly with visitors. The café will offer hospitality in comfortable and stylish surroundings.
The first three floors of the building will offer a mix of studios for creative freelancers, working spaces, and a dedicated members’ room. The Barbican Creative Hub will offer an attractive membership scheme that will enable access to specialist workspaces, networking opportunities, and support programmes to encourage business growth.
This will all be available alongside flexible spaces that can either be used for meetings, presentations and displays, with excellent technical services and super-fast wi-fi throughout the building.
Prof Neal Juster, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, said:
“This exciting development of such an iconic building in Lincoln will create many new opportunities within the creative sector, and drive growth in creativity for the city and region.
“The creative industry is home to businesses of all sizes, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs regionally, nationally and all over the world.
“The Barbican Creative Hub will enable the University to support rapid growth in the creative sector, with more opportunities to further encourage and harness local talent that will have such a positive impact on our wonderful city and community.”
The former Barbican Hotel building is Grade II listed for its architectural significance. This is due to the original 1890s interior, which has survived well, and its grouping value with the Grade II listed Lincoln Train Station building opposite.
The Barbican Creative Hub project, which will total £3 million in capital funding for the renovation, has been made possible due to a combination of Government Town Deal funding, Historic England’s Heritage Action Zones Scheme, and a capital investment from Lincolnshire Co-Op, who will own the building. The University of Lincoln will lease and manage the building through a charitable subsidy.
Lincolnshire Co-op’s Chief Executive Officer Ursula Lidbetter said:
“The Cornhill Quarter redevelopment has enhanced and re-purposed historic buildings in Lincoln, while providing a variety of new services and facilities which enliven our city centre.
“The Barbican Hotel will continue this sensitive approach and create a space where our creative industries will flourish. We’re delighted to be working with the University of Lincoln to bring forward this project.”
Minister for Levelling Up Neil O’Brien said:
“I am delighted to hear about Lincoln’s plans to open the Barbican Creative Hub, backed by £1.6m of government funding. The new centre will transform an iconic building and harness local talent to grow Lincoln’s creative sector.
“The creative industries have a critical role to play in levelling up across the region, driving growth and delivering exciting opportunities and jobs in areas like Lincoln.”
Liam Scully, Chair of the Lincoln Town Deal Board, said:
“Supporting our burgeoning creative industries will enable Lincoln to retain graduates and entrepreneurs emerging from the University of Lincoln and the city’s other educational establishments.
“Once complete, the hub will not only repurpose a key gateway location and heritage asset in the city, but also anchor a strong start-up, micro and SME base.
“I and my colleagues on the Lincoln Town Deal Board look forward to seeing this high-quality, sustainable workspace open next year which has been possible thanks to the Government’s Town Deal funding.”