Portsmouth Guildhall will be used by the University of Portsmouth until December to enable students to attend lectures while keeping to social distancing measures.
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.
Portsmouth student housing firm Collegiate asks permission to change another building in Earlsdon Street over to non-students
The University of Portsmouth has date for opening of Ravelin Sports Centre after months of delays
Gosport student is now a teacher after college course saved her from mental health struggles
Organist who once performed for Queen and went to same college as Rishi Sunak has been struck off from teaching over historical sexual behaviour with pupil
Portsmouth student blocks: Owners of Crown Place ask permission to let non-students live there
‘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.