About Us

Community Led - Community Owned

In a world that seems increasingly disconnected, where more of us feel isolated and where community can seem in decline, the Gregson is a beacon of hope.

Our mission is for people to be in the driving seat of their community events and cultural experiences.

We believe it is critical that our community has a place to come together. Our spaces play a crucial role in our city’s cultural ecology. It is everyone’s right to create and take part in community life and culture, in all its diversity. We make that happen.

People looking at an art exhibition in the Gregson cafe/bar

We are a meeting place of people, ages and cultures. We’re a place to create, to think, to drink and to dance. We’re not dedicated to one artform, and believe our community knows what is relevant to them. Our spaces are currently home to 50 regular groups and a range of cultural and community events and celebrations

At the heart of the Gregson is Lancaster’s only community run bar and cafe. It’s a far cry from what you’d find in most cultural buildings.  It is honest and warm hearted and a social hub in its own right.

Halloween event with the Gregson Festival Group

The Gregson was built in 1889, with donations in memory of former city Mayor, Henry Gregson. For the last forty years our charity, the Gregson Community Association, has been the building’s custodians. We’ve been through a difficult time since lockdown, but local people once again saved the Gregson from closure and our charity now manages the building directly. All the income we make is invested back into the centre and the community.

Beyond our walls, our charity supports three sub-groups who work to make community life better. Friends of Miss Whalley’s Field maintain the ‘Gregson’s Garden’, a once disused site which has been transformed into a wonderful urban green space. The Gregson Festival Group deliver community events including an annual firework display and bonfire. And The Highfield Recreation Ground, where local people restored a mainly derelict sports facility to provide an essential outdoor community space.

Gregson Festival Group community firework and bonfire display

The Gregson exists because of our community’s tenacity and strength. We have ambitious volunteers, members, trustees, and staff, but face challenges within the current climate, and after covid, we’re fragile. With your support, we can make the Gregson work.

Believe in community? Take action – get involved. 


Get Involved
Two women stand smiling, one holding a dustpan and brush, and the other holding a paint can and sheet