UCLan bosses announce graduation ceremony venue move following collapse of the Guild Hall

Graduates at last year's ceremony
Graduates at last year's ceremony

University bosses in Preston have announced their annual graduation ceremonies will be relocated after the closure of the city's Guild Hall.

Degree ceremonies at the University of Central Lancashire will take place at UCLan's Preston campus for the first time in the institution's history.

A graduate celebrates at last year's ceremony

A graduate celebrates at last year's ceremony

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The decision follows the dramatic closure of Preston Guild Hall last month.

Owner Simon Rigby shut the ailing business in May before placing it in administration earlier this month.

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Businessman Simon Rigby placed the Guild Hall into administration earlier this month

Businessman Simon Rigby placed the Guild Hall into administration earlier this month

Since its closure, a number of acts and community groups have told how they fear they will lose thousands of pounds booking fees.

University bosses say the decision has been made with"immediate future of Preston Guild Hall currently remaining uncertain".

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Liz Bromley, Joint Institutional Lead for the University, said: “Our key priority is to ensure that graduation ceremonies can still go ahead and that our students have a fantastic graduation day to celebrate their achievements at UCLan.

“The ceremonies are less than 4 weeks away and as external circumstances have been beyond our control, UCLan is now planning to relocate the graduation ceremonies from the Guild Hall to take place at our Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre in order to provide a venue that can accommodate at least 4000 graduates, family members and friends each day.

““We fully understand the importance of these special events to our students and their families and that people travel and make significant arrangements to be present for this happy and memorable day.

“In true UCLan style, teams have come together across the University and responded brilliantly in developing our plans to transform the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre into a venue which will give our graduating students and their families a day to remember.

“All ceremonies will take place on the same dates as originally planned and in addition to the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre, the University will also use surrounding campus buildings including Foster and the new Engineering Innovation Centre for registration, gowning, photography and hospitality.

“We will be emailing all graduating students to confirm individual ceremony times and we will update our Graduation website page at: https://bit.ly/2F6kOkQ as the detailed arrangements of the ceremonies are finalised.”