Salisbury City Hall – exploring future options to remobilise our entertainment venue


City Hall in Salisbury, Wiltshire is an entertainment and cultural venue that which has played host to some of the UK’s best-known bands and musical artists.

Located in the heart of the city, City Hall benefits from good transport links and a variety of restaurants and pubs close by. Opened in 1961 as a thriving multi-purpose entertainment venue, it played host to nearly all of the biggest acts of the decade including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin and David Bowie, to name a few.  More recently the venue has hosted the BBC’s Question Time, comedy performances from acts including John Bishop, concerts from the likes of Morrissey, Seth Lakeman, and From The Jam.

Modern-day City Hall is one of the largest venues between Bristol and Bournemouth and remains a multi-functional venue, capable of hosting private events, large conferences and exhibitions, awards events, rock and pop concerts and large comedy events.

Salisbury has a vibrant visitor and cultural sector and internationally renowned visitor attractions including Salisbury Cathedral and the Magna Carta. Salisbury provides easy access to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, which is located just nine miles away on the edge of Salisbury Plain. The city is also home to Wiltshire Creative (who manage Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre and the Salisbury International Arts Festival), and Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.

Wiltshire Council unitary authority was created in 2009. It provides local government services to 435,000 Wiltshire residents and is also the biggest employer in Wiltshire, being responsible for a variety of services including the operating of City Hall, Salisbury.

Following Government direction on 20March 2020, City Hall was closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In October 2020 Wiltshire Council confirmed that the venue would remain mothballed until it was both financially viable and safe to reopen. In December 2020, City Hall was licenced to the NHS to be used as a vaccination Centre.

Wiltshire Council is now investigating the potential to remobilise City Hall Salisbury as an arts, entertainment, community, and cultural venue and is seeking a third-party organisation to manage and operate the building on behalf of the authority.

As part of this process, the council is engaging in a Prior Information Notice (PIN) from 23 October to 30 November. It is seeking to understand the possible level of interest among third-party organisations to manage and operate City Hall on the council’s behalf as a multi-purpose entertainment and cultural venue.

This will help inform the council on the best plan and approach to ensure the venue has a long, successful and sustainable future, and to help establish the best way forward for the venue.  Organisations need to be registered on the Pro Contract portal to complete the PIN.

To register/complete the PIN please go to Supplying the South West Portal

Deadline to complete by 5pm, 30 November 2023.

In conjunction to the PIN process, Wiltshire Council is holding a Market Engagement Event at City Hall on 16 November 2023. This will be an opportunity for interested organisations to visit and tour the venue, and to hear from Wiltshire Council officers on the future operation of City Hall.

To register for this event, please email the Arts and Funding Manager

There is a maximum of three attendees per organisation. Those organisations wishing to register for the event, should provide the following information for each attendee:  Name; Job Title; Organisation and E-mail address. On receipt of your email, you will receive a confirmation indicating your organisation’s time slot.

Further information about the PIN process and Market Engagement Event please visit

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Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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