Work to turn one of Lincoln’s most iconic buildings into a new creative hub for the city will begin next month.
Lindum will be on site at the former Barbican Hotel in St Mary’s Street from February until December 2024, during which time the Grade II listed building will be transformed to include a café, gallery, retail space and an office.
The Barbican is owned by Lincolnshire Co-op and once complete, the University of Lincoln’s Art Department will lease and manage it through a charitable subsidy.
It is hoped the building will become a focal point for knowledge exchange and innovative practice across Lincolnshire and will offer a collaborative environment where entrepreneurs can access resources from the University of Lincoln.
Lindum was appointed to carry out the renovation after successfully restoring the façade of the building last year. Group MD Freddie Chambers said it was good to be working there again.
“The Barbican is such a well-known Lincoln landmark, and it forms part of the gateway to the city for those who arrive by public transport,” he said. “Lindum is really pleased to be playing a part in bringing it back in to use.
“Over the past seven years we have been heavily involved in other regeneration schemes across Lincoln city centre, including Sincil Street, The Cornhill and Central Market.
“Working at the Barbican will allow us to continue to put our construction expertise to use, while calling on the skills and talents of our directly employed, practical workforce who have experience of bringing beautiful, heritage buildings such as this back to life.”
The Barbican was built as The Lincoln Club House in 1867 by contractor William Huddleston under the design of architect Michael Drury for the Lincoln Club Company Ltd (replacing an earlier club house on the same site.)
In 1877 it was converted into the Albion Hotel by Whitton and Ashley. The bar or smoke room on the east side was added in 1895, by architect William Watkins, in a North African style. These fittings were removed in 1960. From the 1970s it became the Barbican Hotel and between 2000 and 2009 west of the main entrance, it was a north Indian restaurant.
Sally Denton, the Executive Director, Barbican Creative Hub at the University of Lincoln previously said: “The Barbican Creative Hub has been making exciting progress behind the scenes, enabled through a strong partnership between the University of Lincoln, Lincolnshire Co-op and City of Lincoln Council.
“Following on from the initial exterior stonework renovations, completed thanks to High Street Heritage Action Zone funding, work will commence shortly on phase two of the project which will see the interior of the building being fully refurbished whilst celebrating the heritage of this iconic building.”
The transformation is being delivered thanks in part to a £1.7m contribution from the Government’s Town Deal fund. The City of Lincoln Council secured a £19 million Town Deal grant from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in March 2020 and this is one of 13 schemes being supported as a result.