Work to transform one of Lincoln’s most iconic buildings into the Barbican Creative Hub is well underway, and a special visitor was treated to a behind-the-scenes look inside the building on last month.
The Arts Minister, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, was impressed by the vision of the project as he was shown around the former hotel as part of his visit to Lincoln.
The development to establish a dedicated space for creative professionals will soon be coming to life thanks to funding from the Government’s Towns Fund, Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone and a partnership between the University of Lincoln, UK, and Lincolnshire Co-Op.
Lord Parkinson was hosted at the Barbican site by Sukhy Johal MBE, Director of the Centre for Culture and Creativity at the University of Lincoln, UK.
Sukhy said: “Following the success of the Town Deal funding from Government, we were very pleased to welcome Lord Parkinson to Lincoln and to share our vision and ambitions for the future.
“We are encouraged that Lord Parkinson and the Government see the huge benefit that the Barbican Creative Hub will bring, and fully support the project.
“The Hub will be the catalyst for rapid growth in the creative sector, not just in Lincoln but across the county and the region, allowing us to harness and encourage local artistic talent.”
When it is completed in 2023, the development will serve 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 Barbican Creative Hub will provide a mix of studio space, working spaces and a dedicated members room. An attractive membership scheme will open up opportunities for networking, support programmes and access to specialist workspaces. The Barbican building is one of the most iconic buildings in Lincoln, at the heart of the city and opposite both Lincoln Central Train Station and Lincoln Bus Station. This project will regenerate the building and bring it back into use.
Arts Minister Lord Parkinson said:
“It was great to visit the site for the new Barbican Creative Hub and to hear how the support from the Government, as well as local partners, is helping to transform part of Lincoln’s heritage into an exciting new space for local people, businesses, and creative professionals.
“I was delighted to hear about the ways in which it will be used to nurture the creative industries across Lincolnshire, supporting people at every stage of their career or journey. Our booming creative sector should be open and accessible to everyone, so I’m delighted to hear about the part this new hub will play in doing that.”
The University was also able to spotlight its work in support of local communities across the county with the Minister updated on the nationally acclaimed Transported Programme.
Transported is a community-based project which aims to get more people in Boston and South Holland engaged in arts activities.
Nick Jones, Programme Director for Transported, said:
“We were really pleased to get a call from the Department for Culture Media and Sport to say the Minister was interested in hearing about what we are doing in Boston and South Holland.
“The Transported programme is in its ninth year, and we have just received funding through to 2025, so we were able to show Lord Parkinson some of the fantastic projects we’ve done with residents and communities and look forward to taking him on a walk around Boston to see some of our amazing public art projects.”