December 17, 2021 5.27 pm

The Drill is back! Exciting times ahead for Lincoln’s new-look arts venue

Blending old and new to entertain the city

A popular arts venue in Lincoln has opened under its new name – The Drill – and with a fresh look. Now it’s looking forward to welcoming an array of acts to perform in 2022.

City of Lincoln Council leaders voted to not renew the annual grant given to Lincoln Drill Hall, which left the venue on the verge of closure and staff were made redundant in October 2020. Lincoln College Group came to the rescue and saved the historic arts venue on Free School Lane from liquidation in May 2021.

The Drill opened for its first public performance after the completion of phase one of a £1.55 million project with the much-anticipated pantomime of Aladdin from Jamie Marcus Productions. The funding for The Drill was made up of £1 million from the city council’s Town Deal Fund, while Lincoln College also used some of its own reserves.

Inside The Drill. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The venue has new restaurant and bar called Limelight, and a completely transformed box office and foyer, preserving the heritage of the building whilst bringing it into the modern era. As part of the revamp, The Drill is actively hiring for a number of roles at the venue.

At a launch event on Friday, December 17 key contributors involved in transforming The Drill were thanked, including Lincoln Towns Fund, City of Lincoln Council, Lindum Construction, Polkey Collins Architects and Optima Design.

The venue has new restaurant and bar called Limelight. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Inside Limelight. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Christmas panto Aladdin will continue running until January 2, 2022. People can enjoy the panto in confidence, as for every party that books, there will be a seat left empty either side, so they can feel comfortable in their surroundings whilst enjoying the show.

Students from the college have also been heavily involved, including as front of house staff serving customers and being part of the pantomime’s cast and production crew.

The Christmas panto Aladdin will continue running until January 2, 2022. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Once the production is complete the venue will close temporarily for a few weeks to allow for extensive improvements to the backstage areas, as well as renovations and repairs to the fabric of the building. An official opening is then planned for mid-February 2022.

There is also plenty to look forward to at The Drill in 2022, including performances from Republica, Toploader, Martin Kemp, and Bez from Happy Mondays, as well as the return of the beer festival, a gin festival, and community events such as Butterfly Club.

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Mark Taylor, Director of Business, Development and Partnerships at Lincoln College Group at The Drill. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

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