Guildhall Renaissance
Guildhall Renaissance

Guildhall Renaissance

Portsmouth Guildhall has stood proudly at the heart of Portsmouth and its’ cultural, civic and community life since 1881 and we are now embarking on an ambitious programme of restoration to ensure that we continue to thrive for the next 130 years!

When Portsmouth Cultural Trust took over the management of the building in 2011, we knew we’d taken on a real challenge. The venue had seen little investment since it’s reopening by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1959 and like many cultural venues around the country have seen our local government funding severely cut over recent years, leaving the interior of our historic building somewhat tired and unfit for purpose.

However, the potential for the venue is clear to see and a vision for improved access, better facilities and an increased offer will help the venue achieve self-sustainability and become one of the country’s leading music, art and entertainment hubs.

The full programme of restoration will cost £15million and be completed in several phases over the next 10 years, allowing us to raise the funds needed and complete the programme without closing the venue for long periods. The first phase, our Studio Campaign, will be completed in 2018.



The Guildhall Renaissance project will:

  • Create a purpose built Welcome Centre, improving accessibility, which is welcoming to all
  • Provide a quality customer experience underpinned by excellence – new seating, more leg room, air conditioning and renovated toilet and bar facilities
  • Create a stimulating cultural and social hub as a Studio space that allows us to develop our arts and classical music offer, Learning & Participation programme and support emerging talent
  • Restore and renovate the tired interior of the building which is largely untouched since it was re-opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1959
  • Create exciting new exhibition spaces that bring the heritage story of the Guildhall to life
  • Create a dynamic social space with a new retail and catering offer
  • Improve backstage facilities so we remain an attractive venue to promoters and artists
  • Secure the future sustainability of the Guildhall by allowing us to maximise use of space and income generation


Entertainment and the arts transforms lives. We see it every day in the enjoyment people have experiencing the fantastic music, classical and comedy programme we offer, exploring our Portsmouth Music Experience exhibition and relaxing in our café, the young people that we help start on a path to a career in the Creative Industry, the range of workshops we run for people of all ages within our community and much more.

Our ambitions for the Guildhall rely on the generosity of the public, businesses, trusts and foundations who share our vision and commitment in this exciting project to secure the future and create a Guildhall of which we can all enjoy and be proud.

Be a part of the next phase of our history and support us through our Studio Campaign by becoming a Corporate Partner or Member, Advertising with us, playing the Lottery or making a Donation.

Thank you!

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