Hospitality & Tourism

Published: October 18, 2019 | Updated: October 19, 2019

BH Live secures 18th venue after winning contract to manage ‘vibrant’ new attraction

An artist’s impression of Fareham’s new community, arts and entertainment venue which will be managed by BH Live on behalf of Fareham Borough Council.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

BH Live has secured its 18th venue after successfully winning the contract to manage the replacement Ferneham Hall in Hampshire.

The Bournemouth-based charitable social enterprise and leisure and event venue operator already manages 17 venues, leisure centres and attractions across Dorset, Hampshire and London.

They include the Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth Pavilion, Portsmouth Pyramids, Fairfield Halls (Croydon) and six other venues in Dorset.

BH Live has now been chosen as the operator for the new community, arts and entertainment venue which replaces the 40-year-old Ferneham Hall in Fareham.

It sealed the deal after successfully going through a procurement process.

The current venue is due to close on January 6, 2020, for up to two years while a replacement takes shape.

It will include a main auditorium with more than 800 seats, new foyer and interval space, secondary performance space with a 120-capacity auditorium and community facilities.

When it reopens BH Live will manage the venue on behalf of Fareham Borough Council.

Cllr Sue Bell, the council’s Executive member for Leisure and Community, said: “This is a great step forward in the transformation of Ferneham Hall.

“BH Live will bring a wealth of operating experience and we’re looking forward to working together to establish the new venue as a vibrant community facility with activity throughout the day and evening, offering something for everyone.”

Chris Symons, BH Live’s Chief Executive, pictured left, said: “We are delighted to be working with the council on plans that will see Ferneham Hall transformed into a thriving community arts and entertainment venue.

“We share the council’s ambition – to provide a sustainable cultural venue with a broad event and activity programme that is high quality and community-focused.

“Local residents can expect the programme to include theatre, music, visual arts, international performances, comedy, heritage, health and wellbeing, exhibitions, festivals, dance and creative projects for young people.”

Apart from the BIC and Pavilion, other BH Live venues in Dorset include the Littledown Centre; Pelhams Park Leisure Centre; Sir David English Sports Centre; Stokewood Leisure Centre and BH Live Active, Queens Park – all in Bournemouth – and BH Live Active in Corfe Mullen.