Home / Royal Mail / Bitter row breaks out at the Royal Albert Hall over plans to change its 150-year-old charter

Bitter row breaks out at the Royal Albert Hall over plans to change its 150-year-old charter

Bitter row breaks out at the Royal Albert Hall over plans to change its 150-year-old charter in a bid to reduce seats allocated to the public to benefit wealthy benefactors instead

  • Almost a quarter of the concert hall’s 5,272 seats are owned by 330 members 
  • Costing about £150,000, they are the property of banks and rich individuals
  • Dispute started when the management asked its members about drafting a bill

A bitter row has broken out at the Royal Albert Hall over plans to change its 150-year-old charter.

The passing of a new act of parliament could reduce the number of seats allocated to the public and benefit wealthy benefactors instead.

Almost a quarter of the historic concert hall’s 5,272 seats are currently owned by 330 members.

Costing about £150,000 each, they are the property of banks, large organisations and rich individuals.

A dispute ensued when the Hall’s management asked its members about the draft of a parliamentary bill before a meeting in September, according to The Telegraph.

Former president Jon Moynihan wrote to members warning the bill might ‘make a bit more money for members for a year or two’, but would ‘damage’ the Hall in the long-term.

A bitter row has broken out at the Royal Albert Hall over plans to change its 150-year-old charter

Almost a quarter of the historic concert hall¿s 5,272 seats are currently owned by 330 members

Almost a quarter of the historic concert hall’s 5,272 seats are currently owned by 330 members

Richard Lyttleton, another former president of the Royal Albert Hall (RAH), a registered charity, also said: ‘The commercial members are going to extraordinary lengths to protect the constitution which gives them the right to control the Hall.’ 

The current president, Ian McCulloch, responded by saying a ‘familiar argument’ had been made ‘that many members are guilty of an abuse of privilege’.

‘Perhaps having two former presidents manoeuvring against Council in one week is carelessness on my part,’ he added. 

MailOnline has contacted the Royal Albert Hall for comment.  

It comes after it was reported that trustees and members were selling their tickets to Last Night Of The Proms for up to 12 times their face value – two years after the taxpayer had to cough up £20 million to bail out the struggling concert hall. 

Critics accused them of presiding over a ‘national disgrace’ for cashing in when the London venue owes its existence to a huge loan from the Government’s pandemic culture recovery fund. 

Former president Jon Moynihan (pictured with Prince Charles in 2018) wrote to members warning the bill might 'make a bit more money for members for a year or two', but would 'damage' the Hall in the long-term

Former president Jon Moynihan (pictured with Prince Charles in 2018) wrote to members warning the bill might ‘make a bit more money for members for a year or two’, but would ‘damage’ the Hall in the long-term

Mr Lyttleton said that it ‘illustrates an almost mind-boggling sense of entitlement’.

The RAH urges them to return tickets they do not use so they can be sold to the public, which would earn the seat-holders some £5,000 a year if they gave up tickets for all events. But many choose to sell them on instead, netting up to £20,000 a year. 

The Mail on Sunday found dozens on sale which belong to members – including two trustees who sit on the charity’s council – at eye-watering sums. 

These include Leon Baroukh, 44, its vice president, whose family owns 47 seats which are believed to be among those listed on the Viagogo website for more than £1,200 for Last Night Of The Proms on September 10.

The mark-up on the £95 face value is legal, but critics ask whether trustees of a non-profit organisation should benefit financially, while the Charity Commission is said to be unhappy with the set up.

The charity is subsidised by the taxpayer, pays no VAT, saves up to £3 million a year on corporation tax and leases its plot in Kensington, West London, for just 5p a year.

Advertisement


Source link

About admin

Check Also

Royal Mail worker in Northampton speaks out claiming he has been ‘ostracized’ for crossing strikers’ picket line

A Royal Mail worker in Northampton has claimed he has been ‘ostracized, ignored and belittled’ …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *