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Tycoon extends Guild Hall offer with plans for new studio space

Simon Rigby outside Premier House
Simon Rigby outside Premier House

Entrepreneur Simon Rigby is moving his office staff out of Preston’s Guild Hall - to make way for more entertainment events.

Simon, who bought the Guild Hall off Preston City Council in 2014, has just completed the purchase of another property off the council - Premier House on Church Street, which he is renaming 1 The Guild.

Premier House will become 1 The Guild

Premier House will become 1 The Guild

It will soon be home to his team of 40 staff.

He paid more than £200,000 for the disused building and said: “It’s next to Tesco Express and it’s very close to the Guild Hall.

“It went through the full tender process. It’s been a redundant building as far as the city council is concerned. It’s been empty for years.”

The vacated offices at the Guild Hall will be transformed int a modern small studio performance space. Simon said: “We are looking at considerably expanding the arts and event offering by moving our staff out.

“It will allow us to create further entertainment attractions within the Guild Hall. The Guild Hall is all about entertainment and leisure.

He continued: “It’s quite exciting - one of the things we are looking at is to put in a community led theatre offering for up and coming less mainstream entertainment.”

Mr Rigby added the changes would also help regenerate the city centre.

Referring to the proximity of the Harris Museum and Art Gallery he noted the changes were: “extending the Harris Quarter’s leisure offering still further.”

Simon was awarded the tender two years ago, but the final sale went through just days ago. He hopes to move his staff in within weeks, following roof repairs.

. • Simon has used his experience of regenerating former council buildings and boosting the local economy to set up Local Service Partners to provide “innovative solutions for local authority service delivery.”