City Council sets Lincoln Drill Hall free

The City of Lincoln Council will increase its grant to the Lincoln Drill Hall, while giving the venue more management freedom. From October 1, the Lincoln Arts Trust (LAT) will take over management responsibility for the Drill Hall from the council.

The council has managed the Drill Hall since its refurbishment in 2004, on behalf of the Ruston Hall Trust, which owns the building. The Trust had four council members, while LAT will now have only one, Council Leader Councillor Darren Grice.

The other seven LAT trustees come from various backgrounds, including public relations, law, the Lincolnshire County Council, the University of Lincoln, and the Lincolnshire Community Development Project (LCDP).

The Drill Hall’s grant from the City of Lincoln Council will go up to £250,000, from £170,000 in previous years. In planning since late last year, the move comes a month after the Lincoln Theatre Royal purchased from the City Council the freehold to its site, worth up to £0.5 million in investment. The theatre also lost its council grants.

Drill Hall’s more independent management scheme will not affect the current lineup of acts booked at the venue, or audiences attending shows. The City of Lincoln Council is not saving any money out of its budget either with the new scheme.

“It gives me great pleasure to hand over the management reins to a group of passionate, talented and committed professionals, who will take the Drill Hall from strength to strength in the coming years,” said Councillor Darren Grice, Leader of the City of Lincoln Council.

“This came with the understanding that a strong business case be developed to show the venue as a sustainable one, which could develop and prosper,” Grice added.

Managing the Drill Hall since it reopened in 2004, Simon Hollingworth is confident the new management will open a new chapter for the venue: “This is very exciting news, not just for the staff and the new trustees, but for the people of Lincoln too.”

“A thriving independent arts venue is a vital part of the cultural well-being of any town or city, and we are therefore delighted that the City Of Lincoln Council has taken this exciting and brave step forward,” Hollingworth added.

Source: City of Lincoln Council