City Hall in Salisbury, Wiltshire is an entertainment and cultural venue that opened in 1961 and which has played host to some of the UK’s best-known bands and musical artists.
The building was closed as an entertainment venue in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but since December 2020 it has been used as a mass vaccination centre by the NHS to support the efforts to keep as many people protected from COVID-19 as possible.
Looking ahead, Wiltshire Council are actively looking at the options available to get the building back up and running as an entertainment and cultural venue beyond the time it is no longer required by the NHS.
As part of this process, we are engaging in soft market testing (SMT) over the coming months. This means we will be seeking to understand the possible level of interest among third-party organisations to manage and operate City Hall on our behalf as a multi-purpose entertainment and cultural venue.
This research is vital and will help inform us on the best plan to ensure the venue has a long and successful sustainable future and to help establish the best way forward for the venue.
We are carefully looking at all the options available to us to ensure we have a long-term strategy in place so that when City Hall reopens it is given the best opportunity to thrive and be a success, while also fitting in with the existing and future cultural attractions the city has to offer.
Organisations are invited to complete the council’s questionnaire from 4 April 2022.
The deadline for returns is 9am on 16 May 2022.
The aim of the SMT is to:
- Gather information to support the council’s decision-making process in any next steps and will only be used for research purposes.
- Approach the market to understand the level of interest to manage and operate City Hall as a multi-purpose entertainment/cultural venue.
- Begin to understand the market’s experience and ability to manage venues similar to City Hall.
Any information you provide will only be used for research purposes. The questionnaire does not constitute an Invitation to Tender process, and will not be judged against any criteria, nor will it inform any potential tender process in the future. No award of any contact will be made as part of this process.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme for which City Hall is currently being used, will evolve in scale going forward. Wiltshire Council are engaged in positive dialogue with the NHS to extend the vaccination centre arrangement until September 2022, with the possibility of a further extension for another six months.
Further information about the SMT process and to download an information pack and the questionnaire, please visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/salisbury-city-hall-soft-market-test