By: 24 January 2018
Schofield Sweeney advises on Royal Armouries deal

The corporate team at Schofield Sweeney has advised the catering and events arm of the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds on its acquisition by the government for £11.2 million.

Corporate partner Adrian Ballam led the deal with Rob Hayes, Daniel Bisby and Elizabeth Foster.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Royal Armouries International (RAI) have reached an agreement for the sale.

Assets include the cafe and catering arm, events business and carpark. The business will continue to trade in its existing form, with all current bookings being honoured.

The £11.2 million acquisition will enable the Royal Armouries, a DCMS-sponsored national museum, to take ownership of the commercial offer at the Leeds site.

It is hoped that bringing both operations together (Royal Armouries and RAI) will enable the museum to consolidate its position as one of the leading cultural and business tourism attractions in the North.

Michael Ellis, minister for arts, heritage and tourism, said: “This deal begins a new chapter for the Royal Armouries, bringing the museum and commercial arms together to evolve the full offer of this fantastic cultural institution in the heart of Yorkshire.”

“The move will help this world-class museum go from strength to strength, attracting new visitors from home and abroad. It is a clear statement of the government’s continued commitment to arts and culture across the North of England.”

James Vincent, managing director of RAI, added: “The directors of RAI have been involved at Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds for over 20 years. It is now the right time for the catering, corporate hospitality and event arm to be brought closer to the museum and for the directors to stand to one side. We wish the RAI team and this wonderful national museum, here in the north of England every success for the future.”

The Royal Armouries Museum houses one of the oldest collections of arms and armour in the world and is the UK’s oldest museum. It was housed in the Tower of London from the 15th century before moving to Leeds in 1996.