Wales

Cardiff Mansion house in 'aggressive' takings boost bid

Cardiff Mansion House
Image caption Cardiff Mansion House, used by heads of state and Hollywood stars, is being marketed 'aggressively' to boost its takings from firms and wedding parties

A Cardiff venue used by visiting heads of state and Hollywood star Catherine Zeta Jones is to have an "aggressive" marketing campaign to boost its income.

The Mansion House, the 19th Century former home of the lord mayor and city judges, costs £65,000 per year to run.

The council wants it to earn more of its keep through tours, conferences, weddings and overnight guests.

The venue's 2011/12 brochure includes a personal endorsement from Zeta Jones and husband Michael Douglas.

The pair had a buffet lunch at the Grade II listed building in July last year for the Noah's Ark children's hospice appeal, of which the actress is a patron.

A new website has been developed to promote the Mansion House with the aim of meeting its income target, which has jumped from £31,220 last year to £51,220.

The Richmond Road building, home to many civic artefacts and artwork which are in use and on display, had a major refurbishment in 1998 when Cardiff hosted the European Union summit.

Those who have stayed there in the past include Labour leaders Tony Blair and John Smith and the Dalai Lama.

A report for the council's economy and culture scrutiny committee on Thursday said that in addition to hosting council events, the Mansion House was also available for hire overnight by "for example, heads of state and visiting ambassadors".

The council also wants to promote it as a "premier venue in the city centre" for corporate and private hire, including weddings.

A Cardiff council spokesman said: "The Mansion House is an historic and important building for the city which is owned by Cardiff council.

"We are looking to realise the commercial opportunities of the Mansion House by supporting and marketing this asset to maximise its potential."

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