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‘No risk to upcoming shows’ following reports of £100k debts at Preston Guild Hall

Posted on - 21st February, 2019 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Guild Hall, Preston City Centre, Preston News
Preston Guild Hall in Lancaster Road Pic: Tony Worrall
Preston Guild Hall in Lancaster Road Pic: Tony Worrall

The owner of Preston Guild Hall and Charter Theatre has told Blog Preston there is no risk to upcoming shows after reports of spiralling debts totalling £100,000 emerged.

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A report in The Stage – the theatre industry’s trade title – said producers are routinely turning to legal action to recover money from ticket sales at The Guild Hall and Charter Theatre.

Allegations include claims producers of a Peppa Pig show, a George Michael tribute show and a Bee Gees tribute show are among those taking action.

An ongoing dispute with producers Bill Kenwright Ltd, producers of Blood Brothers, is said to have run into £70,000 – but owner Simon Rigby denied further claims have been made against the venue.

Read more: Simon Rigby responds over Blood Brothers non-payment claims

The investigation by The Stage claimed: “Producers [are] routinely turning to legal action in pursuit of unpaid revenue.

“Producers are abandoning plans to present future shows at the Preston theatre, despite historically strong ticket sales.”

Responding to the report, Mr Rigby said: “The only material dispute we have is with Bill Kenwright Ltd which is ongoing and we are not commenting on.

“Getting paid by Preston Guild Hall should not be a concern.

“Shows do move around from time to time and all sorts of reasons are given but payments terms have not been cited to us.

“People try to use mainstream and social media to gain advantage over all sorts of organisations and this certainly includes Preston Guild Hall but regardless we do what is in the long term interest of the Preston Guild Hall.”

Read more: Simon Rigby sells off chain of betting shops

Simon Rigby bought The Guild Hall from Preston City Council in 2014 for £1. In November 2018 general manager Richard Simkin left the venue with Mr Rigby’s assistant Lisa Mathew stepping in as operations director.

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