The Hub is back in Sleaford after £1.2m revamp

Following the merger of the National Centre for Craft and Design and the district’s arts promoters, artsNK, and a major £1.2m remodelling, this spring Sleaford’s renowned arts centre reopens its doors as the Hub.

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When it opens its doors again on Monday, following the year-long programme to extend the café, reorder the gallery, create new accessible dance and workshop space and refocus its community provision, the NCCD will again be known by the name that was dropped a decade ago - The Hub.

Reflecting on its origins as Hubbard and Phillips’ seed warehouse and its previous name which many people have continued to use, the name is also said to recognise the building’s status as a multi-arts centre hub for broader expression of arts and creativity beyond craft and design.

Director, Clare Edwards said: “The redevelopment of the centre provides us with brilliant new imaginative spaces that will help us deliver more creative opportunities for all people, ages and abilities in Sleaford, North Kesteven and beyond.

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“Over the last few years, we have delivered a much wider programme of craft, design, dance and creative arts experiences. The renaming of the centre supports local feedback and reflects our future commitment to be a cultural hub for our community, in every sense.”

“The Hub is a hub in every sense of the word,” said Coun Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council which owns the centre and operates the wider NK arts programme based there.

“The Hub in Sleaford is central to the council’s and the town’s cultural expression where most artistic activity takes place. From here the artsNK, danceNK and other artistic community outreach endeavours emanate like spokes in a wheel.”

“With its wonderful new extended café and outside terrace it is a place where we anticipate dynamic and vibrant exchanges of ideas, and sparks of creativity and connection to be stimulated,” said Coun Wright.

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The Hub originally opened at Navigation Yard in 2003, as ‘The Centre for Craft, Design and Making’; a £2.4m conversion of the old riverside warehouse, and taking over from the previous Pearoom at Heckington as the district’s exhibition and creative space. It re-branded in 2011 as the National Centre for Craft and Design in recognition of its national portfolio status and position hosting England’s largest gallery space dedicated to craft and design.

The Hub will retain its Arts Council England status as ‘a national centre for craft and design’ and continue to showcase celebrated exhibitions and learning programmes, as well as being a hub for more local-based and community creativity.

In a survey, visitors had suggested having more visually engaging installations, live performances and more clubs and workshops.

The centre brings in this new chapter with two exhibitions: Jo Fairfax: Play and NCCD Art Club.

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Play is a collection of installations by multi-disciplinary artist Jo Fairfax. The exhibition is Jo’s first solo show and brings together a selection of art works exploring movement, sound, and place, alongside examples of public commissions.

A special new artwork ‘Pea Run’ marks the history of the Hub and is a timely celebration as the centre undergoes its latest transformation.

A new ground floor gallery space opens with NCCD Art Club. Shining a spotlight on the work that the centre has delivered during lockdown, the exhibition celebrates how people have used creativity to respond, recover and look ahead to a new world.

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