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Christchurch City Council reveals plans to restructure Vbase

Christchurch City Council reveals plans to restructure Vbase
July 4, 2018

Christchurch City Council has announced that it is to restructure its venue management company Vbase – the operator of the Horncastle Arena and the Christchurch Town Hall which also has contracts to manage the Air Force Museum at Wigram, AMI Stadium and the Hagley Oval Cricket Pavilion.

Blaming the shortage of events coming to Christchurch since the 2011 earthquakes and the cost of running temporary facilities for impacting Vbase’s financial performance, the Council has announced that with new facilities due to open shortly it wants “to make changes to Vbase’s structure to ensure it is fit-for-purpose and able to compete in the increasingly competitive events market.”

With Council saying that it plans to separate the facilities ownership or asset management side of the business from the event hosting and operations side, it has also been rervealed that Vbase Chief Executive Darren Burden will be leaving the organisation as of this Friday

Announcing the restructure, Christchurch City Council General Manager Citizens and Community Mary Richardson stated “we think the best way to ensure our facilities are maintained to a high standard so we maximise their value and lifespan is to have them owned by a separate entity.

“The events operations side of the business, which will be operated by a separate entity under the Vbase brand, can then focus on improving its performance and profitability.

“Over the next few months we will be working with the Vbase Board and staff to identify and implement the critical steps needed to make that happen.”

Vbase Board Chair Councillor Tim Scandrett says the Board supports the plan to restructure and will be actively involved in the next steps of the process, adding “this restructure is about setting a strong strategic direction for the future and ensuring that Vbase can thrive.”

Having been responsible for attracting Bruce Springsteen to Christchurch in 2017, in May Burden was named Venue Professional of the Year by the Venue Management Association (Asia and Pacific) [VMA] at its 2018 member awards.

Commenting on the restructure, Burden stated "I believe today's announcement on the corporate structure of Vbase is a positive step forward for the company.”

Vbase was restructured in 2011 following the earthquakes, and put under control of Council, which took on Vbase's $4 million debt. That restructure cut 151 full time equivalent positions.

No further job losses are expected with the current restructure while the organisation will continue to operate as normal through the restructure.

Burden joined Vbase from Dunedin Venues Management Ltd at the end of 2013. 

Images: Christchurch's AMI Stadium (top) and Darren Burden (below).

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20th November 2013 - DARREN BURDEN TO LEAVE DUNEDIN VENUES FOR CHRISTCHURCH VBASE ROLE


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