NO-ONE new has expressed an interest in taking over the running of St David’s Hall as the soft marketing process for the venue comes to an end, Cardiff Council has revealed.
The development marks a significant step forward in the saga which has seen Cardiff Council considering a proposal from Academy Music Group (AMG) to take on the running of the much-loved classical music venue.
A Voluntary Ex-ante (VEAT) notice of intent, which provides details of the draft contract negotiated with AMG, is expected to be published by the end of the month.
The VEAT allows competitors to come forward with a challenge to the proposal which would lead to a procurement process.
When the St David’s Hall soft marketing process came to an end on Friday, May 20, a Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “The Council has not received any new expression of interest in taking over the running of [St David’s Hall] set against the building liabilities, and the requirements around the classical programme which AMG has committed to.
“The next step of the process is to publish the VEAT notice by the end of May. The notice will run for 28 days outlining the principles of the transaction with AMG.
“Upon conclusion of the VEAT, if no substantive challenges materialise, the Council will consider the final lease agreement with AMG in July 2023.”
Cardiff Council currently faces a budget gap of £24 million and freeing itself from the running of St David’s Hall could help the authority save £1 million.
This isn’t to mention the venue’s eye-watering repairs bill, running into the millions of pounds, that the council would also no longer be responsible for.
However, the council’s plan has been opposed by some concert-goers and concerned residents who fear that the takeover of St David’s Hall by AMG could lead to job losses and have an impact on its classical music programme.
The council has given assurances that the contracts of current employees will be protected through a Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) agreement.
It also said that the concert hall will continue to deliver its international concert series and classical music programme.