York & North Yorkshire

York council and SMG in 30-year agreement over Barbican

Computer-generated image of the Barbican Centre
Image caption York's Barbican Centre will open in May 2011, hosting music, comedy and dance events

York council and venue operators SMG Europe have announced a 30-year agreement, which secures the future of the city's Barbican Centre.

The authority said £2m was being invested in the Barbican. It will host entertainment events and conferences.

A council spokeswoman said it was hoped the Barbican would bring between £9m and £11m to the York economy annually.

SMG Europe has said it plans to reopen the venue, which closed in 2004, in May next year.

'Bright future'

Music, comedy, dance and community events will be among those to take place at the centre.

It will also see the return of the annual Festival of Remembrance, the Lord Mayor's Carol Concert and performances by the Guildhall Orchestra.

Charlie Croft, the council's assistant director for communities and culture, said: "We are confident that there is a bright future ahead for the venue.

"To be reopening and improving a major venue like the Barbican when the rest of the UK culture sector is bracing itself for cuts and closures is a remarkable story for York."

Construction work on the site beings in January.

When it is completed, the Barbican will employ about 60 staff.

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