August 29, 2022 9.00 am This story is over 22 months old

New owners ready to turn St Katherine’s Church into Lincoln community venue

After 800 years there’s a new chapter at St Katherine’s Church

After 800 years, there’s a new chapter at St Katherine’s Church Lincoln after new owners purchased the building, as well as the adjacent Priory Centre, which will become the city’s newest community venue.

The church and parish hall have stood on the site of a well-documented medieval priory since the 1880s and, after falling into disrepair, they were revitalised with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The trust which previously owned and ran the buildings fell victim to fraud and were forced into voluntary liquidation, and the property was put up for sale in 2019.

Inside St Katherine’s Hall, which will now be used for large gatherings, cultural and music events, theatre, and more. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Colin Webb, and his wife Anne, purchased both St Katherine’s Church and the adjacent Priory Centre in Lincoln. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Colin and Anne Webb, who are co-directors of local firm St Katherine’s Care, have purchased both of the buildings and spoke to The Lincolnite about their plans for the buildings.

The Priory Centre will be renamed as SouthSide and be the new base for Acoustic Nations Live CIC, a not-for-profit organisation owned by Colin which produces music, films and videos, as well as promoting live events.

The new owners hope to open the doors of SouthSide for a Heritage Open Day on Saturday, September 10 and it will host an evolving programme of creative events, projects, and initiatives.

This will include, theatre events, music, supper clubs, and Sunday brunch, as well as the opportunity to hire the space for wedding receptions, using film and sound recording facilities, or joining activities such as yoga, dance, and dog training classes.

After 800 years there’s a new chapter at St Katherine’s Church. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The adjacent St Katherine’s Church will become offices for care company – St Katherine’s Care. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The adjacent St Katherine’s Church will become offices for the couple’s care company – St Katherine’s Care – giving them more space and a new training room, with more staff being hired in the future.

St Katherine’s Church will retain its original name, becoming St Katherine’s Hall.

Owner Colin Webb hopes it will be a great facility for the local community. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Colin told The Lincolnite: “I live on the south side and am part of the community. I felt that there wasn’t anything in this part of Lincoln for booking music and community events.

“Lincoln is very fortunate, with the university, that it has a very active arts sector and I really believe there’s not been the infrastructure developed in the city to account for what’s there, so this will add to the facilities on offer.

“I am a big fan, not just of Lincoln, but the whole historic aspect of the buildings. People don’t always get how much medieval history there is in Lincoln and this site is such an important place.

“I feel so privileged to be part of that and to be sharing it with the community.”

He added that St Katherine’s Care can now grow after seeing up the care training facility to improve recruitment, while Acoustic Nations can promote events and community-based activities.

The buildings’ new owner Colin Webb spoke to The Lincolnite about his plans. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

In addition to large gatherings, cultural, music and theatre events, and wedding receptions, there will also be a music studio available for hire with prices being finalised in the near future. Anyone interested in hiring the space or music studio should email [email protected].

Colin also plans to set up a record label for Lincolnshire artists and wants to ensure that all of the venue’s events are more accessible to people with hearing and vision impairments.

Eliot Clarke, guitarist in a band called Sukko, inside the recording studio. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The music studio will be available to hire out in the near future. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Meanwhile, one of the rooms inside The Priory Centre will be renamed The Amie Slavin Hall in memory of a Lincoln woman who sadly passed away during lockdown and constantly strove to improve access to music and community in the city.

The newly-named Amie Slavin Hall. | 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