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St David's Hall contract published

Details of the contract with the company chosen to take over the running of St David's Hall have been published.

The publication of a VEAT (voluntary ex-ante transparency) notice gives details of the draft contract negotiated by Cardiff Council with Academy Music Group (AMG) Ltd to lease and operate the venue.

The publication allows a 28-day opportunity for the offer made by AMG to be challenged and follows a six-week marketing exercise inviting offers from theatre, arts and venue services organisations interested in becoming custodian of St David's Hall.

The process, which aimed to ensure best value was achieved, concluded with no formal bids being made.

The VEAT notice confirms that:

  1. The proposed arrangement will involve granting a 45-year lease for the venue.

  2. AMG will be obliged to repair and maintain the venue, ensure its long-term future and that it remains open for the benefit of the people and city of Cardiff.

  3. The council may also receive a share of venue profits over the lifetime of the lease.

  4. The lease obliges AMG to manage and repair a list of defects. AMG will be responsible for maintaining the condition of the building and would have flexibility to invest in and improve the venue.

  5. It is AMG's responsibility to manage and maintain the venue, so it is safe and operational.

  6. The lease will require AMG to continue and maintain the classical music/community programme as part of the venue's annual offering, reserving at least 80 days each year for such events. This includes 60 days in peak periods and 20 days off-peak.

  7. The Cardiff Singer of the World event (which normally takes 10 days) will also continue to be hosted every other year, in addition to the 80 days.

  8. There is also an obligation on AMG to provide operational and venue management services to support the classical programme events. The council won't have to pay AMG a service charge for these services.

  9. The value of the procurement (i.e. potential net profit) is estimated to be £45 million to £67 million over the 45-year lease.

  10. All current venue staff are expected to transfer to AMG.

The VEAT notice can be seen on the Sell 2 Wales website here.3

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