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Tickets for events at the York Barbican are on sale.


5:56am 5th January 2011

The future of York’s Barbican Auditorium has been secured thanks to an agreement between City of York Council and one of the world’s leading venue operators, SMG Europe Holdings Limited.

Under the terms of the 30-year agreement between the two partners – now finalised - the Barbican Auditorium could host over 350 entertainment events and 50 conference days each year.

The bid by SMG to manage the Barbican Auditorium received the highest score following a formal procurement process by the council.

The Barbican will offer a diverse programme of events taking advantage of the venue’s seated and standing formats. The opening season will include comedy, a range of music events, snooker, family shows and community events. 

The annual Festival of Remembrance and the Lord Mayor’s Carol Concert will return to the Barbican as a regular part of the programme, as will the Guildhall Orchestra.

£2m investment in the opening of the centre will include refurbishment of the much-loved venue enhanced with a dedicated restaurant, meeting rooms and improved public and back of house spaces.

The reaction from the entertainment industry to news of the Barbican’s reopening has been very positive, and the SMG team is already negotiating the opening programme for the 1500 seat venue. 

Confirmed acts will be announced before the end of the year and tickets will go on sale at the Box Office from Tuesday 4 January. The Barbican website, offering information about the venue and full online booking, will launch in early spring. An information centre will open in York city centre in the new year, to help visitors find out more about the building and what’s on, register to receive information and even enquire about job opportunities.

In addition to its role as an entertainment venue, the Barbican will be an important addition to York’s business tourism offer, hosting a range of events from large conferences to smaller meetings and private events. SMG is already working with Visit York and the hotel sector to attract conferences to York, increasing further the positive economic impact that the re-opened Barbican will generate in the city.

Charlie Croft, assistant director for Communities and Culture, City of York Council, said:

"It is great that we now have a firm plan for the Barbican to reopen in May next year, with improved facilities and an exciting programme for everyone in York - and all at no cost to the council tax payer."

Nick Reed, Theatres Director, SMG Europe, said:

“SMG is delighted to have been awarded the contract to operate the York Barbican. We are confident that there is a bright future ahead for the venue and we are very encouraged by the goodwill towards our plans that we have received from both the people of York and the entertainment industry.

“To be re-opening and improving a major venue like the Barbican when the rest of the UK cultural sector is bracing itself for cuts and closures is a remarkable story for York. It is also testament to the city’s imagination in making it happen.

“SMG is now at full speed ahead to get the Barbican open for next May and we look forward to a long and successful association with the city.”

SMG is working with partners Arup and Fuse Design on the redevelopment, and construction work will start on site in early January. Once completed the Barbican will employ the full time equivalent of over 60 staff.

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