Portsmouth Cultural Trust
Serious about music, art, education and entertainment, and aiming to become a major business centre in the South of England.
Portsmouth Cultural Trust

Portsmouth Cultural Trust

Serious about music, art, education and entertainment, and aiming to become a major business centre in the South of England.

Registered Charity Number 1153358: PORTSMOUTH CULTURAL TRUST

Portsmouth Cultural Trust Annual Review 2014-15

Portsmouth Cultural Trust's Vision and Values

We are a registered charity that is serious about music, art, education and entertainment, and our ambition is to become a major Hampshire business centre.  Attracting 235,000 people to Portsmouth Guildhall per year with our wide range of concerts and conferences we are one of the region's largest venues of its kind.

In October 2010, Portsmouth City Council decided to create an independent Not for Profit Distributing Organisation or NPDO to take over the running of the Guildhall. In December 2010, the Portsmouth Cultural Trust was created. The Trust, managed by a Board of Directors, successfully registered as a charity in August 2013. 

The Board of Directors are responsible for the overall strategy of the Trust – its vision and future direction. Itis made up of people with relevant skills in a wide range of areas, such as finance, retail, venue management and marketing. Each member of the Board is essentially a volunteer, offering their time and expertise for the benefit of the Guildhall and of the City. Mark Smith, who is also the Chief Executive of The Southern Cooperative, is the Board’s Chair. See a full list of the Board of Directors here.

More than 30% of patrons attending performances and events at the Guildhall come from outside of the city. This means that we are building on a great reputation that stretches across and far beyond Portsmouth itself. 

The Guildhall’s role as an entertainment venue and major conference centre is at the heart of the Trust’s plans for its future: to take the excellent service, events and functions that the Guildhall has delivered in its past and make them even better.

Sold-out events in the past have included performances by Mumford & Sons, Scissor Sisters, Micky Flanagan, Simple Minds, Jake Bugg, Stereophonics, The Specials and many more. Smaller events include a range of popular Live Lounge shows (cabaret & jazz) as well as a Comedy line-up.

The Trust is also serious about Classical music, presenting concerts by the likes of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (March 2014), the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (October 2013) and 10+ concerts per year by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, as well as a range of smaller recitals and ensembles.

2013 saw the opening of Access All Areas: The Portsmouth Music Experience and Zodiac Gallery, a free business lounge, and a partnership with e-commerce giant Ticketmaster.  

In 2014 the Trust launched Get Into Music Portsmouth in partnership with Creative and Cultural Skills and Creative Choices, aimed at providing young people with knowledge and experience in the technical and backstage music industry. 

They also organised two free outdoor family festivals in Guildhall Square that was attended by 10,000+ people.  See pages on the Funky Town Fest and Portsmouth Street Games for more info.  Another exciting project launched in 2014 was the partnership with Aspex Gallery to present a brand new, free exhibition space entitled “aspex Guildhall” that brings contemporary arts from the southern region to the centre of the city. The new gallery is located in the basement of the Guildhall.

With the support of the Trust the Portsmouth International Chamber Music Series, organised by the University of Portsmouth and Music in the Round, moved to the Guildhall to deliver a series of successful ensemble concerts in an interesting and intimate setting. 


  • that the Guildhall is not just a concert hall, but that we are a major conference and business centre, and that we have strategic relationships with large clients that brings business into the city, such as BAE, the National Astronomers Conference, Excursions, Affinion and many more?
  • at the Portsmouth Cultural we are serious about educational opportunities and have launched a Get Into Music scheme for 14-24 year olds?
  • we lead on the Portsmouth Conference consortium in working with other local venues in establishing Portsmouth as a major national conference city?
  • in 2014 we organised TWO free family festivals in Guildhall Square during the past 5 months that was thoroughly enjoyed by 10,000+ people: the Portsmouth Street Games and Funky Town Festival?
  • we support the Be Your Best Foundation’s ROCK CHALLENGE that gives 16,000 children per year the opportunity to perform on our stage, as well as learn off-stage skills?
  • we support the Portsmouth Schools Music Fest that provides 3,200 children per year the opportunity to perform on the Guildhall stage?
  • we’ve supported more than 60 charities in the past year by providing them with prizes for fundraising raffles?
  • Portsmouth Scene Promotions, and in-house company run by two of our colleagues will be giving hundreds of local musicians the opportunity to perform live at the Guildhall?
  • we support the Portsmouth Music Hub in provide excellent educational opportunities to children?
  • we supported the creation of a voluntary community organisation consisting of more mature local musicians called the Portsmouth Pop Music Trust with the aim of developing a free, interactive exhibition of the history of Portsmouth Pop Music?
  • other partners we support includes aspex Galleries, New Theatre Royal and Top Banana?

More about the Guildhall

Meet the team

Portsmouth Guildhall are members of BACH(British Association of Concert Halls), UK Theatre and CPA (concert Promoters Association)