Businessman Simon Rigby says The Charter Theatre and Great Hall at Preston's Guild Hall are back in business

The Charter Theatre and Great Hall at Preston's Guild Hall are to be reopened
The Charter Theatre and Great Hall at Preston's Guild Hall are to be reopened
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Simon Rigby says a charity funded by him has now reopened the Charter Theatre and Great Hall at Preston’s Guild Hall - even though the company is in administration.

The Guild Foundation, a registered charity formed to develop the arts and leisure in and around Preston, will pick up the baton to secure a specialist operator, Mr Rigby told the Post.

However Preston Guild Hall's Administrators are in dispute with businessman Simon Rigby about whether the venue can reopen.

Although the charity is funded by Simon Rigby the businessman is not permitted to benefit from any surplus generated.

The Lancashire Post has contacted The Business Debt Adviser, the administrators who now control Preston Guild Hall Limited.

In a statement issued this morning Mr Rigby said: “Even though I lost £6,000,000 on the Guild Hall I am determined not to leave Preston without the booming Guild Hall it deserves.

“I have no interest in operating the Charter Theatre or Great Hall myself but the talented management that have worked so hard for many years deserve an opportunity to shape the future.”

He also 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.

Mr Rigby says The Guild Foundation has appointed GF Preston Ltd to run the Charter Theatre and Great Hall until a suitable operator can be appointed.

Lisa Matthew, a trustee of The Guild Foundation and operations director of GF Preston, will be managing the hand over to an operator.

She said: “We are determined to see the Guild Hall to the next level by putting together a core of staff who understand the importance of the Guild Hall to Preston who will work alongside a world class operator. Thus delivering the best of both worlds for Preston.”