Croydon Council leader Tony Newman has decided who is to be the preferred bidder for the management of Fairfield Halls; but at this stage the name of the bidder is secret.
The operator agreement is being let on a concessions basis, ’with no revenue subsidy to the Operator which is a change from the position with the previous operator having been in receipt of £750,000 per annum.’ (Officers’ report para 5.) The contract will commit the operator to expenditure of between £90-180m for 10 years, with an option to extend for a further five years.
There are negotiations to be had on ‘fine tuning’ the details and over the final terms and conditions in the contract documents.
According to his email report to all Councillors Tony Newman says the decision will take effect on 21 April unless the Scrutiny & Oversight Committee or 20% of Councillors call the decision in.
The officers report to the Leader on the bidding exercise and its outcome states:
Community Engagement and Programme Offer
‘The Preferred Bidder has proposed a solution which optimises community engagement and partnership working with the Council and other stakeholders. The proposal is for the delivery of a varied cultural programme and strong commercial operation, resonating with the diverse and changing population of Croydon and building positively on the opportunities from the regeneration in the area. The Preferred Bidder proposes to work with partners, including the gallery operator, local businesses and the community, to enhance the public profile of the venue and attract higher audience numbers through international performances. Through delivery of a range of artistic and cultural activities including theatre, music, visual arts, international performances, comedy, heritage, dance and community events, the Preferred Bidder is aiming to deliver over 800 performances and as the new cultural hub for the local community with a diverse programme including at least 447 community performances. The Preferred Bidder will offer value for money with low price point tickets to ensure Fairfield Halls is returned to a financially sustainable world class venue which is accessible to all.’ (Para 3.24)
‘The Preferred Bidder has extensive experience producing conferences, exhibitions and events across a variety of audiences and has developed a programme on a local and national level which will generate economic benefits for the borough. The following types of non-performance events will be sourced and programmed:
- Association Conferences
- Corporate Conferences
- Hospitality, banqueting and other events
- Themed events such as Christmas, NYE and party nights’ (para 3.25)
‘The proposed solution includes investment by the operator, in terms of both mobilisation and ongoing maintenance of the refurbished building. The Preferred Bidder has a credible plan for life cycle investment and both planned and ad hoc maintenance, with detailed operational procedures and monitoring arrangements.’ (Para 3.26)
London Living Wage
‘Compliance with London Living Wage is a condition of the operator agreement and the Preferred Bidder will work with Croydon Works to maximise opportunities for local people to secure employment opportunities across the operation of the venue.’ (Para 3.27)
The full report provided to Councillors can be read here:
The Council press statement can be read here: