30 May 2024

Salisbury City Hall could reopen as an entertainment venue after NHS use

At a Salisbury Area Board meeting last night (10th March 2022) Wiltshire Council confirmed its plans for the City Hall.

The City Hall closed as an entertainment venue in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but since December 2020 it has been used as a mass vaccination centre to support the efforts to keep as many people protected from COVID-19 as possible.

Last night, Wiltshire Council extended its arrangement with the NHS for the City Hall to act as a vaccination centre until March 2023.

The council is also actively looking at all options available to get the building back up and running as an entertainment/cultural venue beyond when the NHS require it.

As part of this process, the council will engage in soft market testing in the coming months. This will be to understand the possible level of interest among third-party organisations to manage and operate City Hall on the council’s behalf as a multi-purpose entertainment or cultural venue.

This research will help inform the council on the best plan forward to ensure the venue has a long and successful sustainable future.

“The soft market testing is just one of several options available in helping establish the best way forward for the venue,” said the council.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council and Cabinet Member for Heritage, Tourism and the Arts, said, “We know that City Hall means a lot to people, it does to us too, and that’s why we are being as diligent as possible in planning its future, as we really want to get this right.

“We look forward to engaging with the market, which will help inform us and ensure that City Hall has the best possible future as a cultural and entertainment venue when the NHS no longer have a need for it.

“We are carefully looking at all the options available to us and ensure we have a long-term strategy in place so that when it reopens it is given the best opportunity to thrive and be a success over the coming years, while also fitting in with the existing and future cultural attractions the city has to offer.

“No final decisions have been made on how it will operate in the future or the timescales involved, but we’ll keep people updated as this process continues.”

Regular updates will be available on the council’s dedicated City Hall page, which also contains some FAQs.

Image: Google Maps Street View.

Written by
Beth Doherty
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Written by Beth Doherty