After a rebranding and change of ownership, The Drill-formerly Lincoln Drill Hall- has tried to rebuild itself in the post-covid world, a time of uncertainty for most sectors but particularly the arts.

Hoping to increase the diversity of the venue’s programme and customer-base, two members of staff, Tegan Rowe and Saira Craig, have launched a new project, Illuminate.

Tegan Rowe helped set up the project alongisde Saira Craig in February 2023 after realising The Drill’s diverse staff wasn’t represented in its events

They hope Illuminate will “champion the voices and artwork” of local artists from marginalised backgrounds, such as people of colour and members of the LGBTQ community.

It is also hoped a more diverse programme will tap into the student population in Lincoln and grow their audience demographic, rather than replace their current one.

Sipping on a latte in The Drill’s café, Tegan, 25, said: “We set it up around February and it came from a place of thinking that Lincoln has a lot more to offer than the mainly white, middle-aged, male audience we’re currently bringing in.

“Looking at our staff, we have a lot of women, a lot of people of colour, and members of the queer community so we just wanted the programme to reflect this diversity.”

Illuminate is independent to The Drill, but they have use of The Room Upstairs as well as the support of the venue.

Tegan and Saira hope the relationship between the venue and their passion project will be mutually beneficial for both, bringing in a new customer-base whilst supporting local, under-represented artists.

Although Illuminate have access to The Room Upstairs, the project is separate and independent to The Drill, but its hoped both will benefit from the relationship

There will be opportunities where creatives can network and share their work in an “open-mic night” format with a voluntary collection at the end.

Saira said: “Anyone is free to perform, but we plan it in advance rather than you just rocking up on the stage.

“We want people to go for it because they have something to share. It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect, we just want them to come along and share it and then if people fancy giving them a little bit of cash at the end, if they make a tenner from it then that’s awesome.”

Bright and Beautiful, a one-woman show written and performed by Tegan, is one of the first events to be performed in association with Illuminate.

Saira and Tegan, both Lincolnshire-based, are championing local and diverse talent in a bid to ”grow” the audience and programme at The Drill

The show, which will be at the Drill on Thursday 23 March, covers issues such as gaslighting and toxic relationships.

Tegan said: “I kind of wanted to bring this, like, universal experience of like being a young woman trying to navigate your sexuality in a in a patriarchal society.

“It has a sort of a redemption of like reclaiming sexuality in spite of the horrendous acts that men can cause.”

To find out more about Illuminate and Bright and Beautiful head to