20 Facts About the Hub

Did you know….

1. The name of the Hub comes from when the building was originally converted. The letters H-U-B was the only remaining text from the building’s original name, Hubbards’ Seeds.

2. We used to be a craft centre at The Pearooms in Heckington. From 1890 to 1961, the pearoom used to sort seeds for Charles Sharpe & Co Ltd, Seed Merchants, which later became The Hub.

3. The building’s origins and history will never be forgotten. In 2003 commissioned art projects marked the building’s opening; a commemorative plaque by Tracey Rowledge greets visitors with the words “This used to be a seed warehouse. It still is”, and exhibition benches by Electric Wig are still in use in our galleries today.

4. In 2022, to mark our new refurbishment, ‘The Pea Run’ by artist Jo Fairfax was installed in our Café Atrium. The marble run is inspired by our original home and the people who used to work there when it used to be a seed sorting warehouse.

5. Over the past 20 years we have welcomed over 1.8 million visitors through our doors

6. Our Main Gallery is 300 sqm and is the largest single exhibition space in England that is solely dedicated to the celebration and promotion of craft & design.

7. The Hub has presented 172 gallery exhibitions since 2003, what’s been you your favourite? Over 15,000 people visited our most popular exhibition, can you guess which one it is?

8. We have a hidden window to help us get large exhibits in and out of the main gallery, in 2011 this included a car! Can you see where the window is?

9. Did you know we have had three names over the last 20 years – The Hub Centre for Craft, Design & Making; The National Centre for Craft & Design; and the Hub. What do you call us?

10. Our longest serving member of staff has been at the Hub for 15 years, ¾ of the time the Hub has been open. Can you guess who it is?

11. The old Mezzanine that overlooked the Main Gallery is now an office for the team.

12. Our exhibitions have travelled the world far and wide including America, Australia, Wales and Ireland.

13. Our most successful touring exhibition was ‘Bathing Beauties’. 242 artists, designers and architects took part in an international competition to re-imagine the Beach Hut for the 21st Century. Over 7 years, an exhibition of architectural models and one full size beach hut toured to 13 venues across England, Wales and France.

14. The Hub has showcased some incredible craft but did you know one of our exhibitions was made entirely from soap, can you remember which one?

15. Did you know in 2017 The Hub merged with artsNK. The Hub now delivers a growing creative and cultural programme that includes dance & performance, festivals & community art projects.

16. Since we opened in 2003, every month we welcome musicians and poets for an evening of open mic (except in January when it’s too cold!). We also hosted a concert with Newton Faulkner in 2011 as part of our Guitars exhibition.

17. Our longest standing community group, Sleaford Embroiderers have met at the Hub since 2003. In our 20th year and month we celebrate them with a biennial exhibition of their remarkable work.

18. Based next to the River Slea, the centre and team are also a rescue hub for local wildlife and river animals!

19. Did you know that our team produces the most amazing festivals including Sa Fire, Olympic Torch Relay 2012, Zygote 2013, and Sleaford Light Night. More recently we produce RiverLight Festival which this year, coincides with our 20th anniversary.

20. Once upon a very very long time ago, someone threw a toy parachute man off the top balcony of the Hub and he has been hanging from a tree branch ever since. Take a look out of the main gallery window and see if you can spot him….