Music hall boss ‘extremely disappointed’ to lose job after 34 years with company

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THE general manager of a famous Yorkshire music hall has spoken of his “extreme disappointment” at being made redundant after almost 34 years with the company.

Peter Sandeman, 60, manager of the Grade II*-listed City Varieties in Leeds, said he was upset and baffled why he had lost his job.

He has overseen a £9.9m refurbishment of the Leeds Council-funded venue and does not want to leave.

“I am extremely disappointed by the treatment I have received, given my length of service with the company,” he said.

Mr Sandeman asked the board if his departure was about cost-cutting and was told it wasn’t.

“Over successive years I have reduced, in real terms, the cost of the Varieties to the city. I am saddened that I have not been allowed to continue in the post, building further on the work which I have already done.

“I have no wish to take early retirement, and so with several years ahead of me it’s time for a fresh start.”

The company which manages the Varieties, along with Leeds Grand and Hyde Park Picture House, said the redundancy was part of a “comprehensive restructure”.

The Varieties will now be managed by the Leeds Grand manager, Ian Sime.

Theatres director Andrew Macgill said: “The role of general manager has changed over time and the position now assumes responsibility for the programming of the theatres only; it is no longer viable to retain two people to fulfil that.

“Both general managers are highly skilled at their jobs and have been a part of the theatres’ successes so it was not an easy decision to make.

“The newly refurbished City Varieties stands as a legacy to Peter’s hard work and commitment and I speak for the whole company when I thank him for and wish him all the very best for the future.”

A Leeds Council spokesman said subsidies for the group of venues would rise from £173,000 this year to £200,000 in four years’ time.