Local people voiced their approval for the work being achieved at Portsmouth Guildhall by the Portsmouth Cultural Trust, the charity that runs the venue.
96% of the 800 respondents felt it was important for the Cultural Trust to continue supporting young people through apprenticeships and internships, skills development and awareness of career opportunities in the entertainment industry.
The Cultural Trust also enables several community groups to enjoy a diverse range of daily opportunities to improve wellbeing and combat social isolation at the Guildhall. This includes singing workshops for 55+, a skiffle group, free meeting spaces, galleries and exhibitions. 92% of people felt this community engagement was an important aspect of the Guildhall that should be continued.
One touching response read: “My life has completely changed since I joined the singing group. So to encourage people who are looking for something to fill the empty void in their lives, for whatever the reason being, it's great that so many opportunities are available.” Another read: “As one of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 outcomes is to reduce social isolation, thereby helping our health, and one of the ways to combat this is to offer greater access to the arts, it would seem to be essential to raise the profile of a facility such as the Guildhall which does such good work in this area.”
90% valued subsidising community events and classical concerts such as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Rock Challenge, The Carers Voice Information Day, Portsmouth Schools Music Festival, Opportunities Fair, and Portsmouth in Bloom. Offering reduced hire rates for schools and colleges was as important, while 96% of respondents felt that it was essential for the Guildhall to use the arts to enable those with disability to enjoy and engage with activity.
The Cultural Trust receives 18% of its income from the Council, down from 40% when it first took over the running of the Guildhall in 2011. Since then income has grown as a result of increased concert bookings, conferencing and catering. Each year it invests heavily in arts, education and community activities.
As a charity interested in supporting the local community the Cultural Trust provides many activities at the Guildhall that are free or subsidised and want this to continue. The results of the survey indicate that the public is in support of its endeavours to do so.