The formal transfer of Preston Guild Hall to its new owner local businessman Simon Rigby has a date set.Advertisement
On Monday 20 October the keys to the venue are to be officially handed over by Preston City Council to the Rigby consortium.
The Mayor of Preston Nicholas Pomfret will pass the baton of ownership for the building, built in 1972, over to the Rigby group.
Branded Renaissance the group has promised to plough up to £1 million into improving the building.
An official launch event is to be held on Monday to mark the changeover.
Simon Rigby said: “One week today I will be able to proudly name Preston Guild Hall as part of The Villa Group. We will share plans and guests will see actions from day one.
“We are beginning work right away and guests at the event will be the first to see the new Preston Guild Hall Ltd rebrand and hear about the exciting things to come.”
The city council decided to sell the venue after saying it was becoming “unsustainable” to maintain.
Famous names have played the Guild Hall over the years and the Rigby group are promising a diverse range of events alongside bringing some bigger names back to Preston.
Richard Simkin, head of major operations for the Villa Group, said: “It will be a momentous day for us, the team and I are working hard already and this is the start of many changes. People have asked what the launch is in aid of, and it is simple, we just want people to understand what this means for Preston and join us on our journey.
“The Guild Hall is a huge part of Proud Preston and we wish to bring it back better than ever. We have some great things planned and we believe that even on the first day in new ownership, people will really see that change is coming to the Guild Hall. We cannot wait to get cracking.”
Planning permission for major alterations to the entrance of the venue has already been secured.
Escalators are to run from street level to the first floor entrance and an Italian restaurant is to replace the current tourist information office on the ground floor.
A city council spokesman confirmed they were working towards Monday as the official handover day.
What would you like to see happening at the Guild Hall? What do you think of the transfer of the building? Let us know in the comments below