24th February 2004




An £8.5 million performing arts centre for Lincoln is one step closer thanks to a major grant from Arts Council England.


Officials who have been working for three years on plans for The Lincoln Centre have secured capital funding to the tune of £1.5m from a national pool of £46 million.


They will now continue to seek match-funding for the project from various bodies to ensure the scheme’s success.


It’s the first time that Arts Council England has pledged such a significant sum of money to Lincoln - and it makes it more likely that a major new performing arts centre for the use of the general public will be built on land at the University of Lincoln.


The grant has been secured by a steering group made up of the University of Lincoln, City of Lincoln Council, Lincolnshire County Council, EMMedia and Arts Council England.


“This is fantastic news which will help to bring Lincoln’s performing arts provision into the 21st century,” said Phil Cosker, consultant to the steering group.


“If we can put the rest of the funding in place the city will have a state-of-the-art venue by 2006/7 including two cinemas and a raked auditorium capable of hosting live concerts, theatre, dance and exhibitions.”


The Lincoln Centre is likely to be built alongside the Lincoln School of Architecture, further enhancing the area designated by the university as a cultural quarter for the city. Once built, The Lincoln Centre will be leased to an independent trust.


“Our vision is to create a spectacular new facility which will be accessible to members of the public as well as to the university community,” said Professor David Chiddick, Vice Chancellor of the university, who chairs the steering group.


“This performing arts centre will fill a very significant gap which has existed for far too long in the cultural fabric of this city.”


Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of City of Lincoln Council, commented: “We are delighted that Arts Council England has supported this exciting project. Along with the Lincoln Drill Hall, it will give a huge and much needed boost to the arts in the city.”


Peter Knott, Director of Arts and Development at Arts Council England, East Midlands, said: “This arts lottery award of £1.5 million will help to put Lincoln on the performing arts map. By partnering with the University this award will mean the people of Lincoln will have access to a first class performing arts space which will have the facilities to welcome top national and international artists. This forms part of the Lincoln regeneration plans, illustrating how arts and culture are a vital part of the jigsaw in the development of any city.”


Rick Mather, who designed the Lincoln School of Architecture, won an international architectural competition and will be commissioned to design the new arts centre.


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For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln

Tel: 01522 886042

email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk


or Phil Cosker

Tel: 01522 831649            Mob: 07766 396062


or Peter Knott, Arts Council England

Tel: 0115 9897540