Lincoln College Group’s takeover of the Lincoln Drill Hall, announced last week, saved the community and arts venue from permanent closure after the City denied grant renewal in September on top of the financial impact of COVID-19.
Now that there is a future for the multi-purpose centre, LSJ News asked James Newall, LCG’s director of marketing, what it looks like for the “cultural jewel.”
Moving forward, what will be the functionality of the building?
JN: “Moving forward the Drill Hall will be open to the public for theatre, live music and events like food and drink festivals. We’ll also be investing in the building to upgrade the café and bar facilities to make it a great place to have a meal and socialise whether you’re taking in a show or not.”
So, similar to its previous usage, but now featuring more student events?
JN: “Our performing and production arts, catering, hospitality and business students will get to work in a commercial setting and this will be a fantastic training ground for them – giving them invaluable real-life experience.”
The City voted the annual grant for the Hall down in September, noting pressure and the space’s viability. What do you hope to do differently in terms of this being a successful acquisition for the College, if anything?
JN: “Our focus in terms of making the business sustainable will be to broaden its appeal to different markets. We will be making sure that the shows and acts that perform at the Drill Hall are attractive to local audiences of all ages and backgrounds, that we broaden the type of community and business events that we run and that we make the café/bar profitable in its own right and not dependent purely on those visiting for performances.”
Do you have any personal favourite memories at the Hall?
JN: “I was a panto regular each year with my wife and daughter Ruby and we spent many an afternoon with a coffee or a beer listening to great local musicians playing at open mic sessions.”
What has the community response been like on your end?
JN: “We’ve had a tremendous response to the news on social media and it’s clear the community can’t wait for the doors to open again later in the year.”