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

Administrators in control of Preston Guild Hall are in dispute with businessman Simon Rigby over who can reopen the venue and when.

Thursday, 20th June 2019, 12:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th June 2019, 1:32 pm
Preston Guild Hall's Administrators at loggerheads with businessman Simon Rigby about whether the venue can reopen

Mr Rigby announced this morning that the Charter Theatre and the Great Hall were back in business as of today.

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Businessman Simon Rigby says The Charter Theatre and Great Hall at Preston's Gui...

But the Administrator of Preston Guild Hall, Beverley Budsworth of The Business Debt Advisor, has said it is the Administrator who is in control of when the Preston Guild Hall reopens.

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In an interview with the Post today Mr Rigby said the Charter Theatre and Great Hall were open as of “Now”.

He added: “We are taking bookings we are getting back to people who had events with us.”

The businessman claimed The Guild Foundation, a registered charity formed to develop the arts and leisure in and around Preston, was to pick up the baton to secure a specialist operator.

But on the back of the announcement Ms Budsworth told the Post that she is “concerned that an unauthorised press release has been issued”.

She said: “Our efforts to bring in a reputable and substantial operator are ongoing and we hope to be able to make an announcement in a day or two about the continuance to Preston Guild Hall.

“No other press release in relation to Preston Guild Hall has been authorised by the Administrator.”

Mr Rigby says the press release was issued by GF Preston Ltd, which had been appointed by the Guild Foundation to run the Charter Theatre and Great Hall until a suitable operator can be found.

He said: "This was a GF Preston Ltd Press release and therefore did not need the Administrators' permission.

"The Guild Foundation has a lease from April 2018 for the Charter Theatre and Great Hall for 15 years. That's why I have reopened it."

He added that The Guild Foundation "is simply appointing another operator GF Preston Ltd".

However, the Administrator, is disputing that lease. Ms Budsworth said: "The Administrators dispute his lease on the Charter Theatre and the Great Hall."

In response Mr Rigby said: "If the Administrator has found a good operator for the Great Hall and Charter Theatre nobody would be happier than me and I will not stand in the way of that but having the Guild Hall sit - I don't think it's helpful for anybody."