Dozens of free Guildhall events sees Northampton Borough Council miss out on thousands of pounds

The Guildhall in Northampton is failing to make all the money it might from hosting events, a report has found.

Wednesday, 31st October 2018, 1:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st October 2018, 2:40 pm
The Guildhall

Northampton Borough Council's headquarters hosts many events each year, with six being historically free of charge, including Remembrance Sunday and a handful of Mayoral events.

But a trend has emerged of giving the building over to more groups for free, meaning paying customers are turned away.

Since March 2018, the Guildhall has granted 19 extra events for free, for which it could have collected £21,690. They included a tea dance, vintage catwalk and a food fair. Two of the events - International Men's day and the Northampton launch of Kinky Boots the musical - were subsequently cancelled but not before several other bookings were turned away.

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Facilities manager Shelley Parker, in her report to scrutiny committee, said: "The growth in free use of the Guildhall facilities is impacting on income generation and is actually costing the council money, where those events are outside normal working hours and the building would normally be closed."

However Mrs Parker did also acknowledge that some people may feel they have a right to use the building for nothing.

She said: "The Guildhall is also 'owned' by the residents of Northampton and there is a reasonable expectation on behalf of members and residents that it will be available without charge."

There six events that are historically hosted free of charge at the Guildhall are:

Mayor Making

Remembrance Sunday

Laforey Remembrance (Sea Cadets)

Mayors Charity Sunday

Heritage Weekend

Mayors Events

The extra free events hosted since March 2018 are:

International Women’s Day

Notre Dame School Anniversary

Vintage Catwalk

Tea Dance

Music Festival

Bloom Awards


International Men’s Day *cancelled

Walter Tull Talk

Kinky Boots Talk

Food Fair

Ghost Tours

Nasty Northampton

Kinky Boots Launch *cancelled

Sports Awards

High Sheriff


Marberg Festival

Ride for Hope