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A glimmer of hope for the Barbican...

A glimmer of hope for the Barbican...

11:30am 13th September 2010

The Barbican's back on track...and its bringing tourism and jobs to York City too.

The process to select an operator to reopen the Barbican will take a further step forward later this month when the preferred bidder will be unveiled as SMG Europe.

The council's executive will be asked to instruct officers to draw up a detailed agreement with them as to take over the venue.

SMG currently operate a number of venues across the UK and Europe including the MEN Arena in Manchester and Newcastle's Arena as well. They've now been recommended as the preferred bidder by council Officers.

If the executive decide to go forward with SMG as the preferred bidder the award of contract is likely to be at the end of October or early in November allowing work to then commence on preparing the building to reopen in late spring 2011.

The bid from SMG would see them operating the Barbican primarily as an entertainment and concert venue featuring as many as 350 events a year. The centre would also be available for conference and community use.

SMG hope to attract around 240,000 entertainment users each year to the Barbican with events covering a wide range of genres.

The bid also includes community use days to allow events such as the Festival of Rememberance to take place in the Barbican.

SMG Europe expect to create 62 jobs at the reopened venue

Lib Dem Executive Member for Leisure, culture and social inclusion, Councillor Nigel Ayre said: "Clearly it's good news for the city that the tender process we set out has attracted a number of strong bids. The two final short listed tenders have now been assessed and Council Officers have recommended a preferred bidder. The bid from SMG Europe is a strong one and certainly looks to meet the criteria that we set in looking for a new operator for the Barbican."

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