Portsmouth Guildhall rocks record numbers through its doors

PORTSMOUTH Guildhall has had a record number of people through its doors in the past year, with a whopping 266,000 using the city centre venue.

Saturday, 16th June 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:52 pm
The Gorillaz helped record numbers of people flock to Portsmouth Guildhall

Portsmouth Cultural Trust, which manages and runs the venue, has reported that the figure from April 2017 to March 2018 is up 5,000 on the same period the year before.

While there have been headline-grabbing sell-out shows from Greg Davies, Flight of the Conchords, Katherine Ryan, Jason Manford, Gorillaz, Zara Larsson and Robert Plant, numbers have also increased at conferences, meetings, weddings, events and workshops run on site.

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Jason Manford

And more than 26,000 people visited the free exhibitions on offer, including the permanent Portsmouth Music Experience and the temporary The Isle of Wight Festival Exhibition 1968, ’69 & ‘70.

There was also a 25 per cent increase in people engaged with the Guildhall’s Learning & Participation programme which aims to transform lives by inspiring, exciting and educating people through the arts with the founder of the Guildhall’s Get into Music programme for 14-24 year olds, Hayley Reay, nominated for a prestigious Creative and Cultural Skills Award.

Hayley said: ‘We are delighted we are able to offer these experiences, giving pupils access to some of our partners within the industry, and it is great to see young people eager and excited about their future careers.’

Andy Grays, chief executive of the trust, added: ‘Every year we have built the Guildhall up, and every year we have continued to add value and to grow audiences.’

Zara Larsson

Cllr Steve Pitt, in charge of culture, leisure and sport for the council, said: ‘I’m delighted that the trust continue to go from strength to strength and ensure a bright future for our city’s landmark venue.’

In December 2017, the venue launched its fundraising appeal for the development of a new Guildhall Studio, which is the first phase of a wider programme of improvements. It will transform a tired, under-utilised space into a 185 seat/250 standing capacity space.