Construction has finally begun on the restoring of the former Barbican Hotel in Lincoln, close to four years after the plans were first revealed.
The latest developments have been made possible by City of Lincoln Council awarding £280,000 to Lincolnshire Co-operative as part of the £770,000 repair and reinstating works on historic features of the now vacated Barbican Hotel on St Mary’s Street.
The building is set to be transformed into a café, gallery and retail space, as well as studios for creative freelancers.
Refurbishing the derelict building has been on City of Lincoln Council’s agenda for a number of years now, first outlining plans in 2018 as part of a demolition strategy of former shops near to the Barbican Hotel.
Plans were accelerated in April 2020 when the city council received a successful funding bid of £1.68 million from Historic England, to restore numerous buildings in Lincoln back to their former glory.
One of those buildings is the former Barbican Hotel, a high-quality mid-19th century site located on St Mary’s Street opposite the train station.
It was originally constructed as a ‘gentleman’s club’ before being repurposed as the Albion Hotel in 1876, and later the Barbican. This refurbishment will allow for it to see another facelift, in the form of becoming a creativity hub for the people of Lincoln.
The £280,000 awarded as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone will enable repairs to the roof, timber windows, stonework, brickwork and repointing, prior to works to transform the building into a creative hub, as part of a project run by the University of Lincoln and Lincolnshire Co-op.
“Sympathetic” refurbishment of the building began last year, according to the council, and is set to run until 2023, pointing towards a next year opening for this revamped hub.
The hub will contain a cafe, gallery, office and retail space, allowing artists to create and exhibit work to anyone passing through the building.
Councillor Neil Murray, portfolio holder for Economic Growth and Historic Environment Advocate at City of Lincoln Council said: “This building has been vacant for a number of years and is suffering considerable decay.
“Should the building degrade further, it will become detrimental to the overall character and appearance of the conservation area.
“The Lincoln HSHAZ is committed to offering grant support to aid the restoration, reinstatement and sympathetic refurbishment of the Barbican Hotel between taking place between 2021-2023.
“I look forward to seeing works progress to bring this magnificent building back to its former glory.”