Future ‘Home’ for the Creative and Cultural Sector in Lincolnshire as the Barbican Creative Hub Begins Transformation 

19 March 2024

Written by: vsimons

The Barbican Creative Hub project has entered an exciting new phase, as the much-anticipated refurbishment of an iconic grade II listed building, set in the heart of Lincoln, commences.  

The Barbican Creative Hub project has entered an exciting new phase, as the much-anticipated refurbishment of an iconic grade II listed building, set in the heart of Lincoln, commences 

Opening its doors in January 2025, the Barbican Creative Hub will offer a dynamic space for the creative and cultural industries in the area to innovate, collaborate, and grow with access to inspiring programmes, co-working, and dedicated studios. The hub aims to welcome some of the 3,000+ businesses and freelancers in the Lincolnshire region spanning across up to 14 different subsectors from art to architecture, publishing to product design, curators to craft, and fashion to film 

The ground floor of the Barbican Creative Hub will feature a multi-purpose ‘white cube’ space which can be used for research and development, talks and events, pop-up exhibitions, and rehearsals. It will also offer a bespoke café bar that will be open to the public and host a series of events throughout the year with the aim of boosting the city’s early-evening economy. 

This will be combined with studios, meeting rooms, a members’ lounge and co-working facilities to support the growing sector and demand for space. There will also be a dedicated space for Creatives in Residence that will include generous support packages and affordable studios. 

Sally Denton, Executive Director at the Barbican Creative Hub said: “The Barbican Hotel has been a well-loved and iconic building in the heart of the City of Lincoln, and the restoration works being undertaken offer a contemporary reinterpretation of its original use as a member’s club.” 

“Through a considered approach, to both the building usage and the wider digital and physical membership offer, the Barbican Creative Hub aims to ensure that a high level of support can be accessed across Greater Lincolnshire.”  

“This will include a rich programme of activities, business and professional development, as well as opportunities to showcase the creative talent of the region. As a result, we anticipate the Barbican Creative Hub will become a dynamic place for other cultural and creative organisations and individuals to call home.” 

The Barbican Creative Hub capital refurbishment project has been made possible due to a unique three-way partnership between Lincolnshire Co-op, City of Lincoln Council and University of Lincoln.  

Funding for the interior and exterior renovations has been made available as part of the Government’s Levelling Up Agenda with £1.7m made available through the Be Lincoln Town Deal Programme, £280,000 from Historic England High Street Heritage Action Zone, and a £1.6 million contribution from Lincolnshire Co-op. 

Charlotte Goy, CEO of Destination Lincolnshire which runs Visit Lincoln, and Be Lincoln Town Deal boardmember, said:“It’s exciting to see the conservation and building work begin. It is a huge milestone in the overall programme.   

“As a Town Deal Board member I’ve followed this project closely and having a creative hub in the city will positively contribute to the city’s visitor economy.   

“By attracting and retaining talent in Lincoln, we’re nurturing a creative community who can help animate the city in ways that generate pride among residents and attract visitors – this is a great example of Levelling Up through arts, culture, heritage and the visitor economy.”  

Alison Hands, Chief Executive Officer, at the Lincolnshire Co-op said: “We are delighted that the Barbican’s refurbishment will be sympathetic to the building’s history and will complement the eclectic and expanding offer in The Cornhill Quarter. With great proximity to the rail and bus stations and city car parking, it makes the location very accessible to the community as well.”  

The Barbican Creative Hub forms part of a wider network of game-changing support across the region, that has been boosted by the University of Lincoln’s Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of Organisations (NPO) status and its role as a strategic partner in the East Midlands Create Growth Programme, assisting the further development of the creative and cultural economy across the county. These developments strengthen the creative sector in the region and beyond, which in turn fuels growth for a wealth of other industries, feeding into the broader economy. 

Professor Neal Juster, Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln said: The University of Lincoln is extremely proud to be nurturing creative growth in the region through the development of the Barbican Creative Hub. By operating in tandem with its wider programme offer and alongside the Lincoln Arts Centre, students and local people alike will be able to envision a rich future in the creative sector whilst championing and ensuring cultural assets are secured for future prosperity.”