Plans for Salisbury City Hall's future were discussed at a meeting last Thursday

During Salisbury Area Board, Wiltshire Council updated councillors and the public on their plans for the City Hall.

City Hall closed as an entertainment venue in March 2020 due to Covid, but has been used as a vaccination centre since December 2020.

David Redfern, assistant director for leisure, culture and communities at Wiltshire Council, briefly presented the key points.

With the focus on getting the entertainment venue up and running again, Mr Redfern said: "We know there is pressure and we want to get it mobilised as soon as possible.

"If it's not bigger and better why are we getting out of bed and doing it every morning?"

Privatisation of the City Hall is on the table but is not the council's preferred option as it is looking at potential funding sources.

Salisbury Journal: City Hall is situated in Malthouse LaneCity Hall is situated in Malthouse Lane

Wiltshire Council say they are having "positive discussions" to extend the NHS' lease until March 2023, as Mr Redfern believes the hub will be "needed in the winter".

Keeping the vaccination hub open this long was a concern raised by councillors, yet Mr Redford assured "public health has to be a priority".

'It's not good enough'

In an outburst during public questions, Frogg Moody said: "I can't understand why it's still being used for Covid vaccinations, why not pay Salisbury City Council and do them here in the Guildhall?

"I think you should be giving it back to the citizens of Salisbury. It's not good enough, what about the actual people?"

Councillors of the Area Board were keen to reopen the City Hall as an entertainment venue, Cllr Ricky Rogers said: "I just want to get our City Hall back in use for our people."

Cllr Caroline Corbin added: "We have to make sure it is affordable."

The council's soft market test, which ran during April and May, aimed to gauge third-party organisations' interest in Wiltshire Council managing the City Hall on their behalf.

Responses will be used to help inform their decision on the city hall's future, with remobilisation not depending on a successful funding bid.

Cllr Richard Clewer, leader of Wiltshire Council and cabinet member for heritage, tourism and the arts, was not at the meeting but in a statement said: “It’s important that the future of City Hall isn’t planned in isolation.

"When it reopens we’ll ensure it fits in with the overall cultural offer and vision of the city, now and into the future."

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