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Council continues to plan for City Hall's future

Council wants to open it as an entertainment, community and cultural venue

Published 2 December 2022

Wiltshire Council is continuing to plan for the remobilisation of City Hall in Salisbury as an entertainment, community and cultural venue, and is analysing the best way forward for a third-party organisation to run the venue.

In October, the council confirmed that it is seeking to work with an organisation to run the venue on Wiltshire Council's behalf, as this is the most likely option to provide long-term financial sustainability to enable the venue to thrive and to safeguard its future.

At Salisbury Area Board on 1 December 2022, Wiltshire Council confirmed it has been undertaking a preliminary market consultation so it can better understand the type of arrangement a third-party operator would potentially enter into.

The council also confirmed at the meeting that it has not yet heard the outcome of a bid for funding under the Government's Levelling Up Fund. If successful, this funding would be used to make improvements to Salisbury's cultural offer, including City Hall and Salisbury Playhouse. However, the outcome of the bid will not determine whether City Hall reopens as an entertainment, community and cultural venue. The outcome of the bid should be known by the end of the year or early in 2023.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said:

"The detailed preparation and research we are doing now will ensure that when we're formally ready to commence the procurement process we will have foreseen any potential issues and it should put us in a good position to achieve a positive outcome.  

"People's patience is really appreciated because it will be some time before the venue reopens, but should this process prove to be successful then we'll then be able to confirm exact timescales.

"We're committed to re-opening City Hall and we'll continue to keep people as updated as possible throughout this process."


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