Preston Guild Hall

Coordinates: 53°45′35″N 2°41′51″W / 53.7596°N 2.6975°W / 53.7596; -2.6975
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Preston Guild Hall
Pictured in April 2015
Preston Guild Hall is located in Preston city centre
Preston Guild Hall
Preston Guild Hall
Location in Preston city centre
Full namePreston Guild Hall and Charter Theatre
LocationPreston, Lancashire
Coordinates53°45′35″N 2°41′51″W / 53.75972°N 2.69750°W / 53.75972; -2.69750
Public transitPreston bus station
OwnerPreston City Council
OperatorPreston Guild Hall Ltd
TypeConcert venue (Grand Hall)
Theatre (Charter Theatre)
Capacity2,034 (Grand Hall)
780 (Charter Theatre)
350 (Foyer)
Acreage1,087 m2 (Grand Hall)
336 m2 (Charter Theatre)
529 m2 (Foyer)
Opened1973; 51 years ago (1973)

Preston Guild Hall is an entertainment venue in Preston, Lancashire, England.


The Guild Hall was commissioned to replace the town's Public Hall.[1] The new building, which was designed by Robert Matthew, Johnson Marshall, was due to be ready for the Preston Guild of 1972, but after construction was delayed, it only officially opened in 1973.[2]

The complex has two performance venues, the Grand Hall which holds 2,034 people and the Charter Theatre which holds 780 people.[3] There is direct pedestrian access, via footbridge, from the adjacent Preston bus station and car park. Artists that have performed at the venue include Martha Argerich, Morrissey, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, The Jackson 5, Thin Lizzy, Busted and Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel among others.[4] It also hosted the UK Snooker Championship for the years 1978 to 1997.[5]

Until July 2014, it was owned by Preston City Council, who were considering its demolition due to its high running costs.[6] It was then sold to local businessman Simon Rigby, who promised to spend £1m to renovate the venue.[7][8] Rigby closed the venue in May 2019[9] and, in June 2019, he placed the business into administration.[10] Preston City Council subsequently reclaimed possession of the building, citing the "unacceptable behaviour" of Rigby.[11] The building was due to host the Business Expo in April 2020 but this event had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[12] The Guild Hall was set to open in November 2023 for its first event since its closure, which would officially declare the Charter Theatre and main hall on the site open again, but this event was delayed until March 2024 due to concerns over the use of RAAC on the site.[13]


  1. ^ "Music in Preston". Made in Preston. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Historic Building Record: Preston Guild Hall". Preston Council. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  3. ^ "AboutUS". Preston Guild Hall. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Venue has hosted rock royalty". Lancashire Evening Post. 10 January 2013. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  5. ^ "Goodbye Guildhall: A look through time". Preston Hub. 8 June 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Preston Guild Hall could be bulldozed". BBC News. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  7. ^ "Preston Guild Hall sold to businessman Simon Rigby". BBC News. 5 July 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Preston's Guild Hall saved". Lancashire Evening Post. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Preston Guild Hall staff laid off as owner closes venue". BBC. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Guild Hall closes: Twenty full time staff have been laid off at Preston Guild Hall after it shut". Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Council reclaims troubled Guild Hall". 21 June 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  12. ^ "How major Preston developments have progressed during lockdown". Lancs Live. 13 May 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  13. ^ "Guild Hall closed pending surveys amid national roofing fears". The Guild Hall Preston. Retrieved 23 December 2023.

53°45′35″N 2°41′51″W / 53.7596°N 2.6975°W / 53.7596; -2.6975