New Era For Preston Guild Hall

17 October 2014

Preston Guild Hall is set for a new lease of life, thanks to new owner and local businessman Simon Rigby.

Preston council bosses have agreed to the sale of the Guild Hall which will guarantee the future of this popular entertainment venue, with an immediate one million pound cash injection.

In addition, Simon is setting up a £250,000 trust fund to support arts and culture in Preston – a move much welcomed by Councillor Peter Rankin, Leader of Preston City Council who said

“This is a fantastic deal for Preston and a fantastic deal for taxpayers.  Thanks to Simon, over one million pounds is being invested in the Guild Hall.  This will breathe new life into the venue with a beautiful new restaurant, a striking and welcoming front entrance and upgraded facilities for audiences and performers. 

“Under Simon’s ownership, Preston Guild Hall will become Lancashire’s premier entertainment venue.  People of all ages will be able to enjoy a great night out with fantastic food and entertainment, right in the heart of Preston City Centre.

“The sale of the Guild Hall also frees up to one million pounds of taxpayers money that, in these times of austerity, will be used to help off-set cuts to vital public services such as street cleaning, Preston’s Parks and Leisure Centres.  Believe me, the scale of such cuts is unprecedented, so the deal to save the Guild Hall cannot be under estimated and is of immense importance to Preston.

“Simon is totally and utterly committed to future use of the Guild Hall by local community groups, amateur dramatics, college and school productions and the like.  In fact Simon is ‘putting his money where his mouth is’ by creating a £250,000 trust fund to invest in arts and culture in Preston.  We are grateful to Simon for his vision and philanthropy in supporting his home City.

“For over forty years, Preston Guild Hall has wowed audiences and hosted great performances.  Well, thanks to this deal with Simon, the show will go on and we wish him all the very best for the future.” 

Simon Rigby added:

“My heart’s in Preston.  I’m keen for the city to do well and that’s why I’m investing in Preston Guild Hall.  There is a tremendous opportunity here.  The city is on the up and the Guild Hall is very much part of that.

“Our offer will be second to none.  First class food and first class entertainment, all at a price people can afford.  We aim to be Lancashire’s premier entertainment venue and the whole team here is focused on that.  Giving customers what they want, treating them well and above all making sure they have a great time when they are here.

“To me, the Guild Hall is much more than a business or an entertainment complex.  It’s a hub for community, creativity, spirit and enterprise.  I want to grow and nurture this.  To see the arts and culture flourish in Preston.  The trust fund I’m establishing will tap into Preston’s diverse and exciting cultural mix and take it to the next level. 

“Preston has so much potential in so many ways.  I’m delighted to be part of it and to play my part in helping Preston to thrive economically, culturally and socially.”  


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