Royal Albert Hall trustees hawk their tickets to Last Night Of The Proms for up to £1,200

Royal Albert Hall trustees hawk their tickets to Last Night Of The Proms for up to £1,200 – two years after taxpayer bailed out struggling concert hall with £20m cash injection

  • Almost a quarter of Royal Albert Hall’s 5,272 seats are owned by 330 members
  • The RAH urges them to return unused tickets so they can be sold to the public
  • It would earn seat holders £5,000 a year if they gave up tickets for all events 
  • But many are choosing to sell them on instead, netting up to £20,000 a year

Royal Albert Hall trustees and members are 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.

Last night 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.

Richard Lyttleton, a former president of the Royal Albert Hall (RAH), a registered charity, said that it ‘illustrates an almost mind-boggling sense of entitlement’.

Almost a quarter of the Royal Albert Hall’s 5,272 seats are owned by 330 members. Costing about £150,000 each, they are the property of banks, large organisations and rich individuals. 

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

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

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.

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 event is seen in 2020

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 event is seen in 2020

Trustee Iain McNay, whose music company Cherry Red Records is worth more than £8 million, is selling his tickets to the Last Night Of The Proms for £595. One couple, whose family own 25 seats, run a ticketing website to sell their tickets and those of other members. David and Lucinda Viner’s Hoorah Tickets website says they have supplied ‘thousands of tickets for over ten years’. Those for Last Night Of The Proms cost up to £1,250.

The Viners, Mr Baroukh and Mr McNay did not comment.

Labour MP Sharon Hodgson said members who sell their tickets ‘are profiteering from a charity’.

The RAH said: ‘Members’ seats are their private property. They can dispose of tickets privately, donate them, or return them for the box office to sell on their behalf.’

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