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The York Barbican to reopen in the Spring


3:33pm 25th November 2010
(Updated 4:15pm 25th November 2010)

City of York Council and SMG Europe have reached agreement on the final details of the contract to take over the running of the Barbican and the contract is expected to be formally signed in the next few days.

The agreement means details of the deal which were previously confidential due to procurement rules can now be released.

The deal will see £2m invested in improving the building and facilities and setting up the business to get the centre ready for reopening in Spring next year.

City of York Council will spend £1m to bring it up to the required standards to allow the building to be used by the public. This spending will be repaid by SMG Europe through the rent on the building over the 30 year agreement.

As the Barbican is established the Council will receive an annual income on top of rent equivalent of 1% of turnover.

SMG Europe will also spend £1m on improvements and set up costs.

The deal will run for 30 years, after which SMG Europe can either renew on the existing terms, and continue to run the Auditorium, or hand the refurbished building  back to the Council.

The reopened Barbican could host as many as 350 events a year under the deal, compared to only around 70 a year when the centre was run by the Council.

Tickets for shows at the reopened Barbican will go on sale in January from the Box Office.

SMG Europe also plan to launch the website for the centre in Spring, along with a city centre information centre to promote the venue.

Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Social Inclusion said he was pleased agreement had been reached. He said,

“These have been complex negotiations to complete the final details of the deal. I am pleased that we have now reached agreement with SMG Europe and that we can now move forward with reopening the Barbican.”

"The deal provides good value for money for the city. This proposal not only eradicates the  previous subsidy of around £730,000 a year but offers the real possibility of an annual income in the form of a percentage share of turnover.”

“Things can now begin to move forward quite quickly, with tickets going on sale early in the new year, ready for the centre to reopen in Spring.”

“SMG are proposing a depth and quality of content that has not previously been seen at the Barbican. Their experience running venues elsewhere means they have good contacts with big name entertainment acts and have the ambition to bring top quality entertainment back to the Barbican.”

“I am sure there will be great interest when the first acts to visit the new Barbican are announced before the end of the year."

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