Operator announced for remodelled Ferneham Hall

Fareham Borough Council has announced that BH Live is to operate a new Community, Arts and Entertainment venue that will replace Ferneham Hall in Fareham.

The current venue will close on 6 January 2020 for a period of up to two years for a multi-million pound remodelling project to take place. 

When it reopens BH Live will manage the venue on the Council’s behalf.

BH Live is a charitable social enterprise and leading leisure and event venue operator, which manages 17 venues, leisure centres and attractions across Dorset, Hampshire and London. These include Bournemouth International Centre, Portsmouth Pyramids and Fairfield Halls (Croydon). They were chosen following a procurement process.

Executive member for Leisure and Community at Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Sue Bell, 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, Chief Executive at BH Live, 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-focussed. 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.”


Notes to Editor:

  • The cost of the remodelling project is £12.35m.
  • The transformation will include:
    • A main auditorium with 808-seats: There will be retractable seating on the ground floor and fixed balcony seating on the first floor. The stage width and depth will be increased and this along with increased seating numbers will help attract a greater range of professional productions;
    • New foyer and interval space: The foyer size will increase compared to the current space. It will be more open and welcoming, with areas for small pop-up exhibitions. A café with kitchen will operate throughout the day on the ground floor, with an additional outdoor seating area available. The foyer space will continue up to the first floor, where there will also be a bar area with terrace;
    • Secondary performance space: The 120-capacity auditorium will have demountable seating alongside a projector and screen. This means that the space is fully flexible, allowing uses such as cinema screenings, conferences, performances, dance and community or club meetings;
    • First floor studio space: This will accommodate a range of activities e.g. yoga, dance, exhibitions and conferences;
    • Community facilities: A large, flexible meeting room for hire will be provided on the ground floor. Community groups and organisations will also be encouraged to hire the studio space, secondary performance space as well as foyer areas and main auditorium if required.
    • Fully accessible toilets and changing rooms, alongside an accessible lift to the first-floor area. Customers in the main auditorium will be able to choose from a number of accessible seating locations on both the ground and first floors.

For further information about Ferneham Hall contact:

Fareham Borough Council’s Communications Team
Tel: 01329 824310
Email: publicity@fareham.gov.uk
Fax: 01329 550576

About BH Live

BH Live is a leading operator of leisure and event venues; a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives.

With more than five million visits a year and £42 million turnover we are changing lives and are at the heart of the UK’s growing social economy.

In 2017/18 we had 4.5 million leisure centre attendances, hosted more than 500 events and sold over half a million cultural, sporting and entertainment event tickets. We also welcomed 59,000 conference and exhibition delegates. This generated an estimated £53 million in local economic benefit.

For more visit bhlive.org.uk.

Get social with us: LinkedIn, Twitter @BHLIVE_UK and Facebook @SocialEnterpriseBHLive

For more information about BH Live please contact:

Elizabeth Symmons, PR & Corporate Communications Executive
E: press.office@bhlive.org.uk
T: (01202) 055562