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In 1930 construction started on new workshops for Canterbury Agricultural College on a site that is now adjacent to Farm Road. Facilities included a saddler’s workshop with space for up to 12 students, a timber store and carpenters workshop, a joiner’s workshop, a paint workshop, a smithy, and a machine room. Completed in 1931 the building was constructed with ferro-concrete and had a galvanised iron roof.
As the College expanded more workshop space was required resulting in dedicated buildings being constructed nearby for plumbers, carpenters and other services, the workshops building eventually becoming reassigned for other uses including as an Arts Workshop, but more frequently as a storage space. The Lincoln University Students Association (LUSA) had a room at the Farm Road end of the Arts Workshop dating from the 1990s which housed some recreational furniture and a pool table, but the facilities weren’t ideal and couldn’t accommodate many students.
In 2014 it was proposed to redevelop the Arts Workshop into a Student Workshop to provide dedicated student social space. In collaboration with LUSA, the university planned a revitalisation of the building to suit the 21st century needs of students. The outcome of the refurbishments is a building that provides a variety of rooms, multiple contemporary facilities that students can enjoy as their dedicated space.
The official opening of The Workshop was celebrated on 12 February 2016.