Preston Guild Hall company applies to bring in administrators

Preston Guild Hall Image copyright Google
Image caption Preston Guild Hall opened in 1972 and once hosted the UK snooker championships

Preston Guild Hall is seeking to bring in administrators after the venue closed when talks stalled with a prospective management company.

Guild Group Ltd, which runs the venue made the application to the High Court in Manchester, a statement said.

Owner Simon Rigby said administrators would "aim to maximise the return to the company's secured and unsecured creditors".

He bought the building from the council in 2014, pledging to invest £1m.

But staff were laid off last week after Mr Rigby said he had failed to reach an agreement with management company VMS Live to run the venue.

The venue opened in 1972 and has hosted star turns such as David Bowie and Queen, as well as once being the regular home of the UK Snooker Championships.

'Exploring all options'

Mr Rigby said: "The administration strategy will be to agree terms with a chosen operator who will take over the running of [the venue].

"For individuals who have purchased tickets in advance, we will be ensuring that they receive a refund if the show is not available via the new operator."

Operations director Lisa Matthew said the company was "exploring all options for reopening whilst we prepare the ground for the new operator".

In the meantime the 2,000-capacity Great Hall and the 716-seat Charter Theatre have closed indefinitely, although businesses on the venue's ground floor are not affected.

Mr Rigby did not confirm the number of staff that have lost their jobs.

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