LINDLEY Venue Catering and Swindon Town Football Club have re-affirmed their joint commitment to developing the catering facilities and services at the npower League 1 club’s County Ground with the two parties both signing up to a new £13 million, 10 year deal which will see Lindley’s current public matchday catering remit extended to driving all aspects of matchday and non matchday catering, as well as event management at the 15,728-capacity stadium.
Lindley Venue Catering - the specialist catering division of The Lindley Group, which recently became part of the US-based global hospitality provider Centerplate – has had a catering team established at the County Ground since 2009 when it entered into a £1.25 million five-year venture with Swindon Town FC to develop the scope and efficiency of the public matchday catering which had previously been managed in-house by the club.
Under the terms of the initial agreement, the joint venture was due to be reviewed at the end of next season, but the successful development of the working relationship between the two parties has led to them mutually agreeing to enter into a new long-term commitment a year earlier than planned in order to accelerate the implementation of plans for improving hospitality and event facilities at the County Ground stadium.
The new contractual arrangement will see Lindley Venue Catering provide all conference, banqueting, hospitality and retail services on matchdays and at events, as well as managing sales and marketing for non matchday events through to the 2022-23 season, while Swindon Town FC will continue to market matchday packages.
Steve Murrall, General Manager at Swindon Town FC, said: “Over the past four years we have seen the significant benefits that Lindley Venue Catering’s experience and expertise in stadia catering has brought to our retail operation on matchdays, and we now welcome the opportunity to extend and cement our relationship with the Lindley team as we take another major step forward in putting the County Ground on the map – not just in terms of enhancing the matchday catering experience for our fans and visitors, but also attracting non matchday business and generating incremental revenue which we can then reinvest in the club.”
Jonathan Davies, The Lindley Group’s Sales & Marketing Director, added: “Working with the management and in-house team at Swindon Town FC has given us an invaluable insight into their vision for developing the club and the facilities at the County Ground, and we are keen to play a role in helping the club realise their plans and ambitions for the future.
“Entering into this 10-year joint venture has confirmed the club’s commitment to retaining Lindley Venue Catering as its catering partner for the next decade, and we are delighted to be working with such a forward thinking team, and look forward to establishing the County Ground as a ‘top choice’ venue for conference and event organisers in the area as well as along the M4 corridor and beyond.”
Earlier this year, The Lindley Group was acquired by Centerplate, North America’s leading event hospitality partner to the top sports stadia, entertainment venues and convention centres in the United States and Canada. Other stadia catering contract wins in recent months have included Watford FC, Doncaster Rovers FC and Gloucestershire CCC.