Along with 140 organisations across the country we at Lincoln Drill Hall were delighted recently to discover that we had been successful in an application to Arts Council England’s Catalyst Evolve programme. As a small arts charity striving hard to sustain our venue during continuing uncertain economic times this is a really timely announcement.
The programme will provide up to £150,000 over the next three years to help us to build capacity and skills within our staff team and most importantly amongst our trustees to effectively fundraise for us and our work. There is money to develop new marketing and communications activity to shout loudly and proudly about our charitable status, to demonstrate to individuals, trusts and foundations, businesses and existing supporters that Lincoln deserves access to arts and entertainment and that Lincoln Drill Hall is the place to see that. There is also funding to bring in new capacity to our staff team, to create a post dedicated to working on bringing in new sources of funding and managing our relationships with our wonderful current supporters. I’ve spoken before about the dedication of our existing team in delivering all that we do and my analogy that we’re like a balloon that stretches to the point that one more breath of air will pop it. That’s what it sometimes feels like for us. The extra capacity is vital.
Most excitingly from the programme though is real bang for a donor’s buck. Because £105,000 is ring fenced for us to claim as match towards new money we raise. Put simply, for every new £1 we raise from individual philanthropy, from a new foundation investing in our work or from a new business supporting us we can claim a further £1 from this fund up to that amount. That’s potentially £210,000 available for us all to help Lincoln Drill Hall to achieve real long term sustainability. More money to invest in our programme, to build audiences for our work, to invest in the building to provide more opportunities for the community to work with us, for artists to create new performances with us and for us to cement our place as the living breathing heart of culture in our city.
For many in Lincoln You Know The Drill. I had a conversation with one of our regular audience members last week who was passionate about her support for us, her love for the breadth of work we produce – she can see classical music, stand up comedy and new theatre in the space of a week was her example – and her passion was moving. She is also inspiring to me in that I feel galvanised to ensure that whatever is thrown at us we will thrive. I am truly excited about how our future unfolds as a result of our involvement in this programme.
I know that £1 for £1 Lincoln Drill Hall offers people across our city the very best. Over the next three years that can now be a reality.