University of Portsmouth students will get lectures in first term at Portsmouth Guildhall
One-way systems, face coverings and hand sanitiser stations will be in place at the 2,000-seat auditorium and 10 smaller rooms, which would normally host concerts and conferences, to make the venue safe.
Chief operating officer and deputy vice-chancellor at the university, Bernie Topham, said: ‘This is an exciting and creative solution to challenging circumstances, giving us extra space to host safe and engaging face to face teaching which we know is valued by our students.
‘We’ve worked collaboratively with the Guildhall for many years for university events such as graduation and open days, and this further cements our relationship.
‘We are also part of the local community and it’s important for us to support city venues like the Guildhall while meeting our students’ needs.’
Chief executive officer for The Guildhall Trust Andy Grays said: ‘This contract will go some way to mitigating the significant losses we are forecasting for this financial year and enable us to bring back some of our highly-skilled team from furlough.
‘Portsmouth Guildhall is a very flexible space, as shown in the range of events we would normally host, and we are delighted that an alternative use has been found in these unprecedented times that benefits not just us but the whole city.
‘We enjoy a longstanding relationship with University of Portsmouth as host to their graduations and they are an event partner in our annual Comic Con and we look forward to welcoming their students.’The guildhall announced last week it will be back in 2021 with a variety of live shows including popular Elvis tribute act Ben Portsmouth, comedian Jimmy Carr and Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals.