About The Guildhall Trust

About the Guildhall Trust and what we do


The Guildhall Trust takes an innovative approach to diversifying and evolving cultural assets to ensure growth, sustainability and social impact.

With our wealth of experience in the commercial and subsidised sectors, we offer pragmatic and creative advice and solutions to a range of organisations including Local Authorities, Venues, Cultural Organisations, Event Organisers and more.

As a charitable organisation we understand the balance between driving commercial revenues and supporting community and educational activities.

We have gone from zero to 25,000+ instances of community engagement each year through our targeted projects and production of nationally recognised events, all whilst increasing our turnover through diversifying our commercial initiatives.

The Guildhall Trust was formed as an Independent not for profit Distributing Organisation (NPDO) in 2010, becoming a registered charity (1153358) in 2013.

We are the sole operator of the 2,000 seat iconic performance venue, Portsmouth Guildhall where we have increased footfall through the venue by 120,000 people and increased income by £1million.

We are producers and promoters and have created a range of new community events such as Comic Cons and Comedy Festivals.

As experts in catering we have developed our brands, including Square Kitchen, and built successful hospitality packages.

With our expertise in Conferencing & Events we have developed a unique sales approach to maximise revenue.

At the heart of our work is our community led programmes which engage schools, colleges and develop partnerships to encourage people to engage with culture.

As cultural experts we have advised Local Authorities and arts organisations on establishing a Trust, venue management and programming.

We are committed to reducing the impact that our operations and activities can have on the environment. We endeavour to continually improve our environmental performance and aim to achieve standards that exceed minimum levels required by legislation and general codes of practice.

Combining strong ethical management and practise with commercial know how, our ability to increase revenue against a backdrop of reduced subsidy has made us one of the most efficient and effective managements around.

The Board of Trustees

The Guildhall Trust, registered charity number 1153358, is managed by a Board of Trustees as an independent body responsible for the overall strategy of the Trust, our vision and future direction.

Mark Turner

Chairman of the Board

Mark Turner joined the Board in October 2018 before becoming Chairman in 2020. He spent the last 20 years of his career as Global Head of Strategic Planning and then as Global Head of Structured Finance for one of the world’s largest corporates. He was recruited to the Board to bring that experience to bear in helping to move the financial side of Guildhall Renaissance forward. Mark’s interests include theatre and sailing.

Trevor Keeble

Board Member

Professor Trevor Keeble joined University of Portsmouth as the Dean of Creative and Cultural Industries in May 2017 having left the post of Executive Dean (Learning, Teaching and Research) at the University for the Creative Arts. He has 20 years' experience of teaching, management and leadership in creative arts education, and has held executive and management roles for academic development, student experience, research and enterprise during his career.

Declan Murphy

Board Member

Declan has been an active Board member of a number of local Hampshire organisations over the past 8 years, including as Chair of Trustees of Home-Start Butser, a Trustee of Home-Start Hampshire and a Trustee of the Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant. Declan was a Senior Human Resources Consultant with IBM for over 30 years, working in the UK and across Europe, before setting up his own HR consultancy some 8 years ago specialising in employee benefits, acquisitions and HR Project Management.

Sam Cox

Board Member

Sam is currently the Chair of Portsmouth Ambassadors and works actively to support the Shaping Portsmouth Programme. She is currently a serving Headteacher and has worked extensively in both secondary and primary school settings, teaching and leading school improvement projects. She graduated with a degree in Humanities from the University of Greenwich and then went on to Kings College London to pursue her career in teaching. Sam was awarded the honour of being named as Portsmouth Poet Laureate.

Peter Gunn

Board Member

Peter was BH Live’s founding Chief Executive and led the organisation through a period of significant growth and business expansion. Prior to this, he was Managing Director of the Bournemouth International Centre and Pavilion Theatre. He moved to this role having spent 10 years as General Manager of the nationally recognised Guildford Spectrum Leisure Complex. Previous roles also include Chair of Community Leisure UK and Vice President of the AIPC, which promotes excellence in conference and event management.

Adrian Price

Board Member

I was an equity partner for 30 years in various regional accountancy practices, finishing with a UK top 20 and retiring in 2015. I now run my own consultancy company and help with strategic consultancy and growth ideas across a number of key sectors. I’m involved with a medical fund helping start ups and have just been appointed Entrepreneur in Residence at Southampton University. I was chair for 10 years of Wessex Neurological Centre Trust.

Pam Hamilton

Board Member

Pam is a teamwork expert and author of business books Supercharged Teams and The Workshop Book. As a Trustee at The Guildhall, Pam brings 20 years experience of helping people work better together for positive change in global corporates and local organisations via Project Bridge collaboration workshops. Pam is also MD of agency Paraffin, winner of The Queen's Award for Enterprise 2021, TJ Silver Awards Winner, and an accredited member of WEConnect Women Owned Businesses.

Alison Lee

Board Member

Alison is Managing Director of Law Firm, Biscoes, which has been part of Portsmouth's business community since 1854. She has been a solicitor for 28years, 20 of those as a care lawyer in the city, working with some of the most disadvantaged in Portsmouth, making her even more determined to see aspirations raised through good education and community support. Alison also serves as a Director and Company Secretary of Shaping Portsmouth CIC, is a Trustee of Pompey in the Community, a Director at LawNetUK and mentors for the girls network.

Julia Walter

Board Member

Julia’s skills are in large scale creative digital delivery of live performance, and theatrical General and Project Management. She started at Yes/No Productions, home to international show, STOMP and after a break and postgraduate degree in Law, she joined RSC for the UK tour of Matilda the Musical, followed by the Audience of the Future project, a large-scale complex arts and research partnership led by RSC. She is now Creative Digital Producer at Chichester Festival Theatre.

Ming Wu

Board Member

Ming is an Innovation Design Engineer and Industrial Designer, leading the development of The Makers Guild - multi-industry design studios that have been positively disrupting Portsmouth's creative industries since 2016. Bringing 12 years of product development experience, a wealth of knowledge in multiple craft and design industries, with a degree in Product Design and Interaction from the University for the Creative Arts, MRes Technology and an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Portsmouth. Also a Trustee of Ports Fest.

Mike Harris

Board Member

Mike is Chief Executive at Southampton City Council, having held a number of previous roles at the council, including Deputy Chief Executive, Service Director for Growth, Head of Planning, Transport and Culture and Head of Leisure and Culture. In all these roles he exhibited a passion for shaping a positive environment for residents, business and visitors. Mike has a BA (Hons) in Sports and Recreation Studies, a MBA and is a Local Government Association Peer Assessor.

Our Team

With over 30 years Venue Management experience, a wealth of knowledge and experience
from a rich variety of backgrounds, our team are at the core of our success:

Andy Grays

Chief Executive Officer

With his whole career in Arts Management, Andy has worked with Apollo Leisure Group, Stoll Moss Theatres and Luton Cultural Trust and has opened and developed a number of unique venues including The Hat Factory, Luton.

Rachel Maryan

Chief Operating Officer

Rachel has extensive experience in the Food & Beverage industry, Hotels and General Management of venues.

Nick Coles

Head of Technical & Support Services

With a vast knowledge of Stage Production and Event Management, Nick manages the Trust’s public event programme, Dance Live! school’s event and Equipment Hire Service.

Kelly Haswell

Head of Marketing

Kelly has over 18 years of experience of marketing within the Tourism & Leisure industry having worked for a range of cultural organisations.

Hayley Reay

Learning & Participation Manager

Hayley has experience in developing and delivering high quality learning and engagement activities, working with a range of demographics across the community.

Craig Paterson

Head of Technical & Production

Craig has significant experience within the entertainment and event industry, Alongside working freelance, he has worked on large-scale Music festivals, Concerts, theatre and high-end conferences for numerous international promoters, event organisers and businesses throughout his career.

Our Clients

Some of the clients we’ve
worked with in the past