Public urged to show their love for Portsmouth Guildhall in bid to make it ones of the UK’s top venues

A computer-generated image of what it is hoped Portsmouth Guildhall will look like after the Renaissance scheme. Picture: Hemingway Design
A computer-generated image of what it is hoped Portsmouth Guildhall will look like after the Renaissance scheme. Picture: Hemingway Design
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TRUSTEES behind one of Portsmouth’s top cultural landmarks have today launched a campaign to secure public backing for the next stage of its ‘renaissance’. 

Dubbed It’s Time to Make it Happen, the drive is being spearheaded by The Guildhall Trust to cement aspirations to modernise Portsmouth Guildhall for future generations. 

Since it was built 128 years ago the city centre venue has welcomed top musicians, ‘millions' of fans and was reopened after being gutted during the Blitz in 1941. 

But bosses say it has seen little in the way of investment – and are now calling on stakeholders and the public to show their support for the Guildhall in a bid to tempt potential funders.  

CEO for The Guildhall Trust, Andy Grays, said: ‘Following the completion of our new Guildhall Studio space last year we are keen to push forward with the next phase of the Renaissance of the Guildhall.

‘Being able to demonstrate to funders that the public are passionate about their Guildhall and its future can be highly influential when funding decisions are being made.’  

The renovation of Portsmouth Guildhall is set to take place in ‘several’ phases over the coming years as the trust addresses issues which have been flagged by its fervent users. 

Bosses say these include a need for air conditioning, better bar and catering facilities, better toilets and a desire to see the best acts come to Portsmouth. 

If all of this is addressed, Mr Grays believes, Portsmouth Guildhall has the potential to become ‘one of the best event and cultural venues in the UK’

He added: ‘Other cities including Bristol, Liverpool and Southampton have all received significant cultural investment in recent years and with your support we want to secure the same for Portsmouth.'

The full Renaissance programme of renovation will consist of the following: 

Improving customer facilities and creating new social spaces

- Creating new bar facilities

- Renovating toilet facilities

- Improving ground floor access by widening the foyers

- Renovating the tired interior 

- Developing exhibition and gallery spaces

- Improving the usability and flexibility of the first floor space

- Building a ‘stunning’ side extension that will offer exciting new restaurant, bar and café facilities

Improving the concert hall and backstage areas

- Providing better seating with more leg room and an air cooling system

- Improving the flexibility of the concert hall so the space can be used more effectively

- Modernising the technical and backstage areas

To support the Renaissance of the Guildhall, go to: portsmouthguildhall.org.uk/support-us/individual-giving/donate