May 5, 2021 3.37 pm This story is over 32 months old

The Drill Hall goes on as Lincoln College takes over arts venue

It will return as an arts venue and also be used by college students

By Local Democracy Reporter

Lincoln Drill Hall will reopen this year after being taken over by Lincoln College Group — starting with a panto ahead of the festive period.

The arts venue was faced with permanent closure last year when City of Lincoln Council leaders confirmed that the annual grant given to the venue would not be renewed.

It was heavily reliant on council grants to keep running, that meant that all staff were made redundant in October 2020.

Lincoln Drill Hall is being brought back to life. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Now, the historic arts venue on Free School Lane, built in 1890, has been revived after a successful takeover bid from Lincoln College Group.

It will remain closed for now, but a reopening has been planned for autumn this year by LCG, who hope to use the space to give students hands-on experience in their chosen career path, as well as restarting productions and live events.

Responsibility for the Drill Hall will be transferred from the Lincoln Arts Trust to Lincoln College Group, and the college have pledged to maintain the Drill Hall’s cultural importance in the city.

Lincoln College Group MD James Foster said he is looking forward to an “exciting” future for the Drill Hall. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

LCG Managing Director for International and Commercial, James Foster, told The Lincolnite that the Drill Hall’s return is an exciting one, and he is passionate about bringing productions back to the community.

Phil Hamlyn Williams, chair of the Lincoln Arts Trust, called it a “bittersweet moment” in light of losing all Drill Hall staff to redundancies during the pandemic.

Despite the changes, the much-loved pantomime performance of Aladdin will go ahead this year as the first event back at the Drill Hall.

The show will run from Saturday, December 11 to Sunday, January 2, performing multiple shows most days.

Tickets for Jamie Marcus Productions’ performance of Aladdin at Lincoln Drill Hall are on sale now and can be bought here.

Jamie Marcus, Managing Director at Jamie Marcus Productions, said he cannot wait to welcome people back to the “dynamic” Drill Hall with his Aladdin production.