Key milestone reached to run Hull Venue and work begins on site

Hull City Council has today (Friday 2 December) confirmed that SMG Europe Holdings Ltd has been awarded preferred bidder status to run Hull’s newest music, events and conference centre. This follows a decision last year for BAM Construction Ltd to build the facility.

Subject to finalisation of the legal agreements for occupation, operation and management, SMG Europe Holdings Ltd will be awarded a 25-year contract to operate Hull Venue, having demonstrated that it offered the best value, following a competitive tendering exercise.

The company, which operates internationally, also runs the nearby First Direct Arena in Leeds, Manchester Arena, York Barbican, and The Baths Hall & Plowright Theatre, both in Scunthorpe, amongst many others, booking acts including Kings of Leon, Strictly Come Dancing Live and Little Mix to name a few.

BAM Construction has already designed and started to build the centre along with a new multi-storey carpark. The company were confirmed as the builder in December 2015 when a Pre-Construction Services Agreement was signed, followed by an Enabling Works package earlier this year. A full contract will follow early 2017.

The company, whose previous projects include First Direct Arena in Leeds, One Angel Square in Manchester and Bridington Leisure Centre, has already started work to clear the site and started the piling for the venue.

Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council said:

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the commitment from the council to this project.

“SMG and BAM both have fantastic reputations in their respective industries and I am delighted to have them both on board.

“Hull Venue is a key landmark scheme, which is critical to the development of the city and our plans to make Hull a world-class visitor destination. 2017 is just the beginning for Hull and these legacy projects will ensure that Hull continues on the journey as a great cultural city after its year in the spotlight.”

John Sharkey, Executive Vice President, European Operations for SMG Europe said:

“We’re delighted to be selected as the preferred bidder to operate the new Hull Venue and we look forward to working with council and the destination marketing team to bring a range of new events to the city, building on what looks like an exciting City of Culture programme.”

BAM Construction Director Jason Pink said:

“We’re bringing a lot of skill and experience to Hull Venue. Several of the team worked on Leeds Arena and bring an understanding of the design issues with them which is helping already.

“We’ve been on site for a few months with preparatory works, and have been working hard on the design challenges of the building so we’re now confident and ready to start on the construction programme.”

The centre will include a 3,500 capacity concert auditorium, with the flexibility to reduce to a 2,500 all-seated event and a 2,000m2 exhibition space, plus an 800 capacity conference auditorium. The centre will open in 2018.

Legal and technical information is being drawn up with SMG prior to the formal documentation being finalised shortly.