Guild Hall facelift is given council nod

How the new Guild Hall frontage will look
How the new Guild Hall frontage will look

Plans to remodel the front of Preston’s Guild Hall have been approved by councillors.

Owner Simon Rigby is to demolish the two original concrete staircases and replace them with new sets of steps.

The scheme will also include two large TV advertising screens at first floor level facing out on to Lancaster Road.

The plans were given the green light by the city’s planning committee. Work is expected to begin within the next few weeks.

An officers report said: “The proposed development is acceptable and would not have any unacceptable adverse impacts on residential amenity or the street scene.

“The application merely seeks to remodel the front elevation of the building by relocating the existing staircases to the north and south ends of the first floor terrace to open up the view of the front of the building.”

The project is the latest upgrade to be carried out at the Guild Hall since it was sold by the council in 2014.

Owner Simon Rigby, who saved Preston City Council £1.5m a year when he took the venue off their hands, has revitalised the entertainment complex. When he took charge the venue was costing £150,000 a month to run, now it is on the verge of breaking even.

He was opened the Leaf and Bean Cafe, Mundo Tapas, Review cocktail bar, Villa Italian and the LiVe music venue in the complex. Plans are advanced to open LeVeL, a bowling alley and live entertainment business. And the entrepreneur is also hoping to add a casino in the future, if he can get a licence.