A trial involving 13 companies against Preston City Council is still yet to take place
Preston Guild Hall looks set to remain closed for at least another year after a court ordered the administration process must be extended.
The city’s flagship events venue has been shut since May 2019 when then owner Simon Rigby closed the building five years after buying it from Preston City Council for £1. After the closure, he placed Preston Guild Hall Limited into administration in early June, cancelling numerous live shows and events planned to take place within the entertainment complex.
The administration is still ongoing, as is a bitter legal battle surrounding the local authority’s decision to seize ownership back after what they deemed to be ‘significant breaches’ of the lease through the closure. Mr Rigby died in 2020 and his estate has since ended its involvement in those legal proceedings but 13 other companies which were involved in Guild Hall operations are continuing to pursue it and a trial is expected to take place some time between November and June.
Beverley Budsworth is handling the administration and her latest report revealed that the venue is likely to remain closed for another year while that matter is ongoing. It states: “Creditors were notified that 17 May 2022 upon my application, the court ordered that the period of the Administration be extended to 4 June 2023.”
Her report also states that a confidential report has been submitted to the Insolvency Service examining the actions of directors in the lead up to the collapse of the business. Elsewhere, it is confirmed that of the £38,000 owed to staff for wages and pay, just 1% is likely to be repaid. Not a single penny of the £66,000 owed for redundancy and notice periods will be paid.
- 06:13, 8 JUL 2022
A spokesperson for Preston City Council said: “The Guild Hall is currently the subject of ongoing litigation and therefore the future reopening of the building is by no means certain.”