Petition to ‘save’ Cardiff’s St David’s Hall reaches 9,000 signatures
Ted Peskett, Local Democracy Reporter
Cardiff Council is still considering a bid from a private company to take over St David’s Hall despite thousands signing a petition to save it.
It emerged earlier this month that Academy Music Group (AMG) made a proposal to Cardiff Council for the takeover of the concert hall on the Hayes in Cardiff city centre.
The venue, which is known for hosting classical music events in Cardiff, is in need of investment to meet a backlog of maintenance work.
However, the news has not gone down well with some members of the public, who fear for the future of the venue.
A recently set up petition calling for the protection of St David’s Hall as a venue for classical music has received over 9,000 signatures.
The petition, set up by a member of agency staff who works at St David’s Hall, claims that no investigation has been made regarding alternative funding streams to raise money for the building.
Outlining some of the campaigners’ fears, the petition states: “Losing cultural output could negatively affect the balance of programming, directly impact Arts Active and their programme of arts education for young people, with potential implications for the festival of remembrance, Cardiff singer of the world, the international concert series, the Welsh Proms, the annual Cardiff university graduations and so much more – and would in all reality be a travesty…”
The petition also makes claims over the potential future of employees at the venue, stating: “Many long-standing members of agency staff, myself included, who are in line with council policy entitled to a permanent council contract due to our length of service stand to have no protections through TUPE if the building is transferred and potentially stand to lose our continued employment.”
Under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection and Employment) regulations (TUPE), an employee’s contact may be protected when a business changes ownership.
Cardiff Council has re-affirmed that safeguarding jobs at St David’s Hall and retaining the venue’s status as the National Concert Hall of Wales is an “absolute imperative” under any proposal.
A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “Cardiff Council can confirm it has received a proposal from Academy Music Group (AMG), regarding St David’s Hall.
“The council is currently considering this proposal and a report is scheduled to be brought to Cabinet in December. No decision has yet been taken.
“There is undeniably a need to secure investment into St David’s Hall, but safeguarding jobs at the venue and retaining its status as the National Concert Hall of Wales, with access to the Classical symphonic repertoire, would be an absolute imperative for the administration, under any proposal.
“The council knows the importance of St David’s Hall to classical music lovers and the proposal does protect the main classical programme, community events, and includes opportunities for these to be extended.
“The proposal also commits to a substantial investment to upgrade the building, ensure the hall’s reputation for world-class acoustics would remain and to protect all existing employees on their current terms and conditions through a TUPE agreement.
“Cardiff Council’s Cabinet will consider a report on the AMG proposals in December.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.