Preston Guild Hall and Charter Theatre announces temporary closure | News – The Stage

Preston Guild Hall and Charter Theatre announces temporary closure | News - The Stage

GUILD HALL CLOSES: Twenty full time staff have been laid off at Preston Guild Hall after it shut

Owner of the city centre venue Simon Rigby says he hopes the Great Hall and Charter Theatre will only be shut “temporarily” before a new operator picks it up, saving the 20 jobs within the month.

Entrepreneur Mr Rigby closed the Great Hall and Charter Theatre after negotiations with specialist live music and venues company VMS Live were put on hold.

Preston dance groups dream show at the Guild Hall is cancelled

It comes as the untimely death of the managing director and founder of VMS Live has meant progress has been delayed.

Live: Preston Guild Hall to close as a venue

Mr Rigby, who owns the Guild Hall, announced he was in “advanced negotiations” with VMS Live to take over the running of the building in April.

READ MORE>>> Who are VMS Live and why were they taking over running of Guild Hall and Charter Theatre?

But he says that Steve Forster’s death, coupled with “some false social media stories has meant the position of Preston Guild Hall Ltd, the current operator, has become fundamentally uncertain and directors have had to take professional advice”.

In a statement Mr Rigby said: “Clearly a tragedy beyond anyone’s control has led to the delay in VMS Live taking Preston Guild Hall on to the next level.

“The suppliers, including promoters, have simply got tired of waiting for VMS Live to take up the reins of the Guild Hall.

“Under this pressure and uncertainty I am legally obliged to review the viability of Preston Guild Hall Limited, the operating company, as a number of its creditors will not wait any longer and all creditors have to be treated fairly.”

Sparkle Dance, based in Oxheys in Greenbank Street, were due to perform as part of Cirque Du Sparkle on Saturday 22 June.

But with Simon Rigby’s decision to mothball the venue, pending negotiations with management company VMS Live, the group have been told their show will not take place in the Charter Theatre.

“I am working on a back up plan but for the moment rehearsals for this Sunday are cancelled due to the show being off.”

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