This is how the sudden reopening of the Guild Hall could affect ticket refunds
The sudden reopening of Preston Guild Hall raises many questions, not least the issue of refunds for cancelled shows.
Today (June 20), owner Simon Rigby announced that the venue is back open for business, despite former operator Preston Guild Hall Ltd remaining under the control of administrators.
Mr Rigby says The Guild Foundation, a registered charity funded by him, will now operate the venue's Charter Theatre and Great Hall.
But what does this mean for cancelled shows and ticket refunds?
Following the venue's shock closure last month, customers who had paid cash for tickets were warned that they might not get their money back.
The venue was put into administration on June 5 and a string of summer shows were swiftly cancelled.
Administrators issued a statement to customers who had purchased tickets for the affected shows, warning that people who did not use credit cards will not be covered under a ‘chargeback scheme’ - and might not be eligible for a refund.
But with Simon Rigby declaring that the venue is back in business under a different operator, will outstanding cash refund requests now be granted?
This morning (June 20), the Preston-born businessman hinted that those who paid for tickets in cash could get their money back.
"In due course any registered charity, local good cause or ticket holders who paid cash for shows that are cancelled should be in for good news once we have completed some legal formalities," he said.
But the venue's administrator, Beverley Budsworth of The Business Debt Advisor, maintains that the building's lease remains under its control and efforts to find a "reputable and substantial operator are ongoing".
This means that any cash refunds are unlikely to be issued until a "specialist operator" is officially appointed on a permanent basis and the venue leaves administration.
But if you paid in cash for tickets and are owed a refund, you can still apply for your money back as a creditor.
How to try to claim money back for cash payments
The administrators say you can make a claim for cash refunds by registering as a creditor.
You can do this by downloading and completing a proof of debt form and returning it to The Business Debt Advisor, by email to [email protected] , or by post to:
The Business Debt Advisor, Trafford House, Chester Road, Old Trafford, Manchester, M32 0RS.
You can download the proof of debt form by searching: www.thebusinessdebtadvisor.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Proof-of-Debt-Form.pdf