Salisbury City Hall ‘not for sale’, council reiterates in update

CITY Hall in Salisbury is not being sold off as a firm is sought to run it as an entertainment venue.

Wiltshire Council has clarified the situation as it says it is “at an advanced stage” in hiring a specialist company to market the venue to prospective organisations on a long lease.

The market provider will support in identifying suitable organisations who are best placed to enter a lease in excess of 25 years in length and subsequently enable the future success of the venue.

A stipulation for prospective operators is that the venue remains as an entertainment venue.

Once an appropriate operator is appointed, Wiltshire Council would retain the overall ownership of the venue.

Wiltshire Council leader, Cllr Richard Clewer (Con, Downton & Ebble Valley), said: “We see the City Hall as an integral part of Salisbury’s future, and our sole focus is to secure an appropriate external operator who will reopen and manage it on our behalf as a thriving entertainment venue which complements our long-term vision for the city.

“We are aware that there has been a little confusion created due to the legal process that we must go through in order to grant a long lease.

READ MORE: City Hall in Salisbury being offered for long-term lease
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“We did clarify this at the time in January, but the formal wording of this process, the ‘intention to enter into a relevant disposal’ of the site, is just part of the statutory procedure of us informing the Local Planning Authority of our intentions.

“I reiterate that we are not looking to sell the venue or change the site for another purpose, we remain committed to reopening it as an entertainment venue.

“I will be meeting with the Friends of the City Hall group to speak to them about the process we’re following to reopen and take any questions they may have.

“We are entering into the advanced stages of a detailed procurement process and finalising the appointment of a market provider to help us engage with potential operators very soon.”

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