A VEAT (Voluntary Ex-Ante Transparency) notice providing details of the draft contract negotiated with Academy Music Group (AMG) Ltd to lease and operate St David’s Hall has been published.
The publication of the VEAT notice 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:
- The proposed arrangement will involve the grant of a 45-year lease for the venue.
- 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.
- The Council may also receive a share of Venue profits over the lifetime of the lease.
- 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.
- It is AMG’s responsibility to manage and maintain the Venue, so it is safe and operational.
- 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 per annum for hosting/staging such events. This is made-up of 60 days within peak periods and 20 days off-peak.
- 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.
- There is also an obligation on AMG to provide operational and venue management services to support the classical programme events. There will be no service charge payable by the Council to AMG for the provision of these Services.
- The value of the procurement (i.e. potential net profit) is estimated to be between £45 million and £67 million over the 45 year lease.
- All current Venue staff are expected to TUPE transfer to AMG.
Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Event, Cllr Jennifer Burke, said: “We are determined to secure a sustainable future for St David’s Hall and the publication of this VEAT notice confirms the commitments made by AMG to repair and maintain the Hall, and provide a minimum of 80 days every year for the classical programme, and provides a further opportunity for their offer to be challenged.”
The VEAT notice has been published on the Sell 2 Wales website and can be viewed here: https://www.sell2wales.gov.wales/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=JUN439743