Wiltshire Council provides City Hall update
Wiltshire Council has updated on its plans for City Hall when the venue is no longer required by the NHS
Wiltshire Council provided an update on the future of Salisbury City Hall, its entertainment venue that has been used by the NHS for its COVID-19 vaccination programme since 2020.
City Hall closed as an entertainment venue in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but since December 2020 it has been used as a mass vaccination centre to support the efforts to keep as many people protected from COVID-19 as possible.
At Salisbury Area Board last night (10 March), Wiltshire Council confirmed it is engaged in positive dialogue with the NHS to extend the vaccination centre arrangement to March 2023. The council is also actively looking at the options available to get the building back up and running as entertainment and cultural venue beyond when the NHS require it.
As part of this process, the council has confirmed it will engage in soft market testing. This means the council will seek to understand the possible level of interest among third-party organisations to manage and operate City Hall on their behalf as a multi-purpose entertainment and cultural venue. This research will help inform the council on the best plan forward to ensure the venue has a long and successful sustainable future. The soft market testing is just one of several options available in helping establish the best way forward for the venue.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council and Cabinet Member for Heritage, Tourism and the Arts, said:
"We know that City Hall means a lot to people, it does to us too, and that's why we are being as diligent as possible in planning its future, as we really want to get this right.
"We look forward to engaging with the market, which will help inform us and ensure that City Hall has the best possible future as a cultural and entertainment venue when the NHS no longer have a need for it.
"We are carefully looking at all the options available to us and ensure we have a long-term strategy in place so that when it reopens it is given the best opportunity to thrive and be a success over the coming years, while also fitting in with the existing and future cultural attractions the city has to offer.
"No final decisions have been made on how it will operate in the future or the timescales involved, but we'll keep people updated as this process continues."
Regular updates will be available on the council's dedicated City Hall page, which contains some FAQs. These can be found at our Salisbury City Hall page.