Latest news / 24 October, 2019

HQ Theatres & Hospitality announced as winning bidder for the New Theatre, Cardiff

HQ Theatres and Hospitality will take over operation of the New Theatre from Cardiff Council in early 2020.

  • HQ Theatres and Hospitality will take over operation of the New Theatre from Cardiff Council in early 2020.
  • Appointment follows a competitive bidding and selection process.
  • HQ will invest significantly to protect the building for the future.
  • Lease tenancy agreement will run for 25 years

HQ Theatres & Hospitality (HQ) has been announced as the new operator of Cardiff’s New Theatre following the successful conclusion of a competitive bidding process run by Cardiff Council.

The 110-year old, 1,144 capacity Edwardian theatre becomes the 13th venue to be run by HQ – a subsidiary of Qdos Entertainment Group, whose pantomime productions have run at the New Theatre for more than two decades. Lease arrangements under which HQ will operate the capital city theatre will run for 25 years and existing New Theatre staff will transfer to HQ’s employment.

New Theatre, Cardiff
New Theatre, Cardiff

The company’s plans will deliver continued programme development at the New Theatre and significant investment throughout the lease period to improve front-of-house areas and to protect, preserve and enhance the fabric of the theatre. A dedicated Community and Education function will also be established to further embed the venue within the communities it serves – and the company will work with cultural, arts and entertainment organisations in the city in the development of a city-wide approach to programming.

Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure at Cardiff Council, Cllr Peter Bradbury, said:

The New Theatre is one of Cardiff’s most important cultural assets and I’m delighted that its future has been secured through this agreement with HQ Theatres and Hospitality, one of the UK’s leading theatre operators.”“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.

Nick Thomas MBE, Chairman and Founder of Qdos Entertainment Group said:

After 20 years of producing Wales’ biggest pantomime at the New Theatre we’ve come to know the venue and Cardiff audiences well. That’s one of the reasons why it’s such a thrilling prospect for us to run the theatre.

We’re delighted to welcome the team at the New Theatre into the HQ and Qdos family – where they’ll benefit from being part of a supportive network of colleagues running our highly-successful theatres – and from the sharing of industry best practice which has become a hallmark of what we do.

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.