• Dragon Media

Cardiff Council and HQ Theatres agree New Theatre takeover

Updated: Nov 4, 2019

The future of Cardiff's New Theatre has been secured, after a deal was signed between Cardiff Council and HQ Theatres.

HQ Theatres & Hospitality - which is a subsidiary of Qdos Entertainment Group - agreed the 25 year lease of the 110-year-old venue, which is due to take effect from early 2020.

Key features of the winning bid include:

  • No requirement for operational subsidy from the Council

  • Commitment from HQ to invest in the building over the term of the lease including refresh of the front-of-house areas

  • Commitment to grow the programme from 335 productions in year 1 to 359 by year 3 and thereafter

  • Commitment to maintain and enhance the mix of week-long musicals, ballet and drama.

  • Existing staff structure to be retained

  • Commitment to retain existing volunteer programme

Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury, said: "The New Theatre is one of Cardiff’s most important cultural assets, but for many years it has cost the Council around £500,000 annually to operate.

“This arrangement will see the theatre operated without subsidy – generating money which can be reinvested in the structure of the building and ensuring the theatre’s doors stay open for many years to come.

"The deal with HQ is great for the theatre, great for Cardiff’s theatre-goers and great for all the New Theatre’s staff whose jobs are safeguarded by this agreement."

Chairman and Founder of Qdos Entertainment Group, Nick Thomas MBE, said:"We’re excited to be taking the reins of this superb and much-loved theatre – and to have the opportunity to work with partners at Cardiff Council to ensure the future success of this jewel in Cardiff’s crown."

HQ Theatres currently operate twelve arts venues, including Southend-on-Sea's Cliffs Pavilion and Palace Theatre, Wycombe's Wycombe Swan and Crewe's Lyceum Theatre.

- Jordan Howell (@jordanhowell7)