A city dance academy looks set for a new home in Preston’s Guild Hall, as part of a vision to transform the venue into an “oasis” for leisure and the arts.
Carol May’s Academy, currently based on Lune Street, is expected to move to its new premises if conversion plans are given the go-ahead.
Dance leaders describe the move as a “wonderful opportunity”, while the Guild Hall’s owner says the partnership will be “win win”.
If plans are approved and following a major fit-out, the studio and associated Dancers Wardrobe shop are due to open in September.
Principal Carol May said: “We are hoping, because it is all theatre and arts, it is the ideal place to further our dance school and give children an opportunity on the door step.
“The whole atmosphere is going to be theatre and entertainment and that’s exactly what we do.”
The Guild Hall’s owner Simon Rigby said: “Carol May’s Academy is very active, very busy, it’s going to help the footfall into the Guild Hall, which will help our wider aspirations.
“We want to make the Guild Hall a centre for performing arts and we see this as absolutely logical and a great partnership.
“We want to make it a nice leisure facility, definitely for Preston, but also for the whole of Lancashire.”
He said he was “delighted” to welcome the academy and said: “What better venue for a performing arts specialist than the Guild Hall. I believe it is an ideal partnership.”
The announcement comes after plans were lodged for Safehands Nursery to move into the venue.
Simon said: “We see these two business complementing each other as well as the Guild Hall itself.”