In this blog, you will find out more who we are, what we do and why it is of specific benefit to Portsmouth. 

Let us delve right in…

A brief history of The Guildhall Trust 

We were formed as an Independent Not for Profit Distributing Organisation (NPDO) in 2010, and then became a registered charity (1153358) in 2013, becoming the sole operator of the iconic 2,000 seat venue, Portsmouth Guildhall. Our rebrand, following an extensive consultation process, saw us become The Guildhall Trust in 2019.

The Guildhall Trust is proud to be managed by a Board of Trustees with a Senior Management Team which specialises in venue management, cultural consultancy, creative learning and event management services that makes us stand out from the rest.

What is our vision?

The Guildhall Trust’s goal is to become one of the country’s leading cultural organisations. We aim to achieve our vision of The Guildhall Trust as a charity that inspires, entertains and transforms the lives of people in the Portsmouth Community.

Here at The Guildhall Trust, we are committed to delivering cultural and learning experiences of the highest quality by using our skills, resources and standards to do so. Our mission is to become increasingly more resilient and sustainable as a positive effect for the people we help.

We aim to widen our offer so that we can develop our audience and engage with our community as a whole. This is because our main goal and focus will always be to place our community at the centre of everything that we do.

What do we do?

We are a community focused Portsmouth registered charity that is all about programmes that engage with residents, creatives, schools and colleges and developing partnerships that help people to engage with culture within their community.

As a leading cultural management, The Guildhall Trust takes an innovative approach to diversifying and evolving cultural assets ensuring growth, sustainability and social impact, making us one of the most efficient and effective charities around.

Our Get Involved programme is at the heart of what we do! 

But what is that you ask? Well, we use this programme to develop people’s passion for music and the arts through a vast variety of activities. These include workshops, events, groups and courses people can join that are either provided free of charge or at a low cost!

Our Get Involved programme has over 15,000 instances of engagement each year with events tailoring to all age groups. Some of these include activities like our Dance Live! competition for schools and colleges, UVG – The Urban Vocal Group for adults and young people, a Recharge Singing Group for people aged 55+ and a Skiffle Orchestra.

Everything we do is as inclusive as possible for all groups within our community as we make it a point in saying that everyone is, and always will be, welcome at The Guildhall Trust.

Our values

We have a number of values here at The Guildhall Trust that we always aim to follow and uphold.

Our main value is to educate our community in support with local education to promote the arts and our heritage through performances and creative participation.

Our wish is to inspire our community with different cultures through our work and our passion in everything that we do. This is why we want to work with others and develop further partnerships so that we can achieve more together as a community.

A huge value of ours is to develop others so that they can contribute more towards their own success and ours as well.

Working with the Portsmouth Community

The Guildhall Trust works in partnership with local organisations to produce a number of community-focused events which includes Portsmouth Comic Con and Guildhall Games Fest.

We fully support all emerging talent in our community. This is why our Harbour Artist Development programme provides a package of support and funding to local artists at arguably the most crucial time in their development.

Here at The Guildhall Trust, we believe that everyone should have the same opportunity to experience live entertainment. That is why we created the ‘Tickets for the Community’ scheme, where we have so far gifted over 3,000 tickets to socially and economically disadvantaged groups in our community.

The Guildhall Trust wants to help our community as much as we possibly can, wherever and whenever we can.

All you need to know about Portsmouth Guildhall

We are incredibly proud to be the operator of Portsmouth Guildhall.

We are even more proud to state the fact that we have increased the footfall through the venue by 120,000 people every year.

The Guildhall Trust has established the venue as one of the leading conferencing centres in the South and it is now generating 93% of our own turnover as well as contributing over 7 million pounds to the local economy each year. Any profits that we make are re-invested back into our charitable initiatives.

We have developed Portsmouth Guildhall as a hub for the community. There are currently more than 20 businesses who have their offices within the Guildhall. There is also a Makers Space facility and a casual meeting space cafe.

Our ‘Discovering the Guildhall’ and ‘The Portsmouth Music Experience’ exhibitions which tell the heritage of the building and the city’s music scene are free for everybody to come in and see.

Our commitment to our community

The Guildhall Trust is committed to reducing the impact that our operations and activities have on the environment and we have implemented a number of sustainability initiatives to do our part in protecting our planet.

We endeavour to continually improve our environmental presence and aim to achieve standards that exceed minimum levels required by legislation and general codes of practice.

This is our commitment to our community and one that we will continue to uphold.

We need YOU

Sadly there is a common misconception that many people have about The Guildhall Trust.

People think that we are run and fully funded by the Portsmouth local authority which is not the case and we also do not receive regular Arts Council funding.

Instead, The Guildhall Trust generates 93% of its own turnover, which makes it the largest and most efficient concert hall in the south of England with our local economic impact being estimated at 7 million a year. This is a huge influence on local employment and supply chains in our local area which also helps our community.

Even though we have reduced our costs as much as possible, our essential building-related costs alone, such as insurance, water and lighting, remain at £1.7million a year.

Buying tickets for a show, becoming a Guildhall Member, making a donation or considering leaving a legacy gift are all important ways that you can support The Guildhall Trust.

As a Portsmouth registered charity we thank you so much for your support as it really does enable our programme to help, grow and support more people in our community.

Thank you for reading this blog and we hope this has given you an insight to the work of The Guildhall Trust.

If you are looking for ways to get involved and to help our charity you can find all the information you need on our website!

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