Royal Albert Hall acts to prevent board members profiting from debenture seats

The charity changes its rules for sale of tickets by trustees

Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall will stop trustees from selling tickets for more than their face value.

The hall’s trustees, who are known as members of the council of the corporation of the Royal Albert Hall, have voted to introduce a new bye-law that outlaws those trustees who have debenture seats from selling their tickets for more than their box office price.

A statement from the Albert Hall said trustees would be encouraged to sell unwanted tickets back to it through the ticket return scheme so they could be sold to members of the public.

Peta Travis, president of the Royal Albert Hall, said trustees had held a meeting with the Charity Commission to discuss the situation, after claims emerged that two trustees and their families made more than £100,000 a year by selling their tickets for events at the venue.

"This subject has been under consideration for some time and we have met with representatives of the Charity Commission on several occasions to consider how best to adapt our constitution to the needs of a modern charity," said Travis.

"We are pleased that we shall be meeting them again very shortly."

She said the Albert Hall’s constitution was unusual because it was established many years ago by an act of parliament and needed "regular review".

Several trustees who are the successors of the subscribers who funded the hall’s original construction hold debenture seats on 999-year leases, for which they pay an annual sum.

Travis added: "I should make clear that none of our trustees has done anything illegal, but their ability to sell surplus tickets commercially has clearly caused concern and misunderstanding.

"I also wish to emphasise that none of the charities that stage events at the hall have suffered financially from the arrangements that prevailed, despite some comments from artists who, of course, give their time to these events so generously. But we believe that it is time for a change."

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