Guild Hall vision unveiled

Architecture practice the Frank Whittle Partnership has released this image of how Preston's Guild Hall could look after a proposed £1m makeover.

FWP is working with the building's owner, Lancashire-based energy investor and property developer Simon Rigby, to transform the exterior of the entertainment and leisure venue.

Rigby Villa Group was named preferred bidder by Preston City Council to acquire the building. Napthens LLP provided legal advice for Rigby's bid.

FWP's team is now in discussion with council planning chiefs over its proposals and is looking to submit a planning application next month for the proposed remodelling of the Guild Hall's frontage.

The plan includes new spaces for cafes and breakout spaces, a giant high-level digital screen and new show lighting.

A giant, glowing colour-changing "G" would also form part of the new entrance as an "instantly-recognisable" piece of public art.

There would also be digital projections on the pavement outside and the possibility of a "digital walk of fame" is being explored.

The existing dense tree coverage in front of the building would also be replaced with more subtle and softer landscaping.

Preston property agents, Parker & Company, have been retained to attract retailers to support and enhance the arts offered by the Guild Hall.

A new charity, Preston G.R.O.W.S will be established to give budding local retail entrepreneurs an opportunity to establish their businesses in a subsidised incubator unit.

Seb Salisbury, architect at FWP, said: "We have been working with Simon Rigby's team to give the Guild Hall a much-needed makeover. The Guild Hall is in desperate need of modernisation, along with a clear and concise business plan and marketing strategy which he is now providing.

"We believe the design proposals we have come up can add a real longevity to the building and make it a real destination venue for Preston and beyond."

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