SALISBURY City Hall will remain closed for the foreseeable future, Wiltshire Council has today confirmed.

The authority has deemed it "a sensible option" to suspend the current programme of events, scheduled to begin again next year, with the Covid-19 pandemic putting increased financial pressures on the council.

It added it will look to reopen the venue when the industry "is on a surer footing".

The decision was made during a Wiltshire Council cabinet meeting on Tuesday and is still subject to a councillor call-in period, which comes to an end on October 22.

This follows the week's news of a new coronavirus three-tier system of local lockdown measures, a Covid-19 related death at Salisbury District Hospital, and a rise in Covid-19 cases in Wiltshire.

Councillor Richard Clewer, deputy leader of Wiltshire Council and cabinet member for heritage, arts and tourism, said: “Given the uncertainty of the indoor entertainment industry at this time, we think this is a sensible option.

“We know how popular City Hall is, but this has been an unprecedented time that has had a huge impact on the industry and our finances.

“At the moment, with Covid-19 cases rising nationally, we cannot say with any certainty when performances can recommence in 2021. In light of this it makes sense to formalise a temporary closure.

“I'd like to thank all the City Hall staff for their professionalism at an unsettling time.”

Some City Hall members of staff will be redeployed where possible, and customers will receive a full refund on tickets they had purchased.