VMS – Announce new commercial partnership with TSDSU (LAMPETER, CARMARTHEN & SWANSEA MET)

Steve Forster commented on the new arrangement with TSDSU – ‘this is a really innovative deal from a Student Union and University perspective, in that as more and more Students Unions are either giving up their commercial operations or trading at a loss. We guarantee a no risk solution with a profit share. We are confident that with our experience of operating buildings and delivering high quality entertainment, along with the significant economies of scale that a multi site operator can bring – we will revitalise the operations and deliver engagement with a much larger proportion of the student body. In doing this we will ensure that the SU is once again seen as the hub for all students across the TSD sites. We have entered into an initial 5 year agreement with the option to extend for a further 3 so we are confident that we can deliver long term success and are prepared to back this up with significant capital commitment. We will be taking on all aspects of the commercial operation in the sites in Lampeter and Carmarthen while overseeing the entertainments programme in Swansea. Off the back of this agreement we are already in discussion with a number of other Unions/Universities and we see this areas as a real growth opportunity for us in the coming years’.

Carl Bathgate (Commercial Director) – commented ‘TSD is unique in many respects in that all 3 sites are geographically disparate with a unique identity in each site. In many ways this makes the challenge more difficult, but at the same time allows us to get very creative with the offering in each site. Our company slogan is ‘bespoke solutions’ and this is very much what we are planning for the 3 TSD sites. Both Carmarthen and Lampeter have their own buildings but a very different demographic, while in Swansea we are delivering an entertainments programme across the City. With the relatively short time scale between our taking over and the start of the new Student year, it is going to be hectic for us, but we are confident that both short and long term we can make a real impact’.

Damian James CEO of TSDSU commented ‘We are delighted to welcome VMS on board as our new partners to run the commercial operations for Trinity St David’s Students Unions. The Unions have undergone some tough trading conditions in recent years and in truth the overall offering was perhaps not as good as we or our students would like. In entering into a unique partnership agreement with VMS we are looking forward to significant capital investment in the sites as well as the benefits of teaming up with a dedicated venues and music company. This arrangement, allows us as a Student Union to focus on our primary function – looking after our students and their interests, while at the same time knowing that the student experience will improve with the input of VMS. From our perspective a win/win situation’.

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