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National Library of Wales
Cardiff Bay Opera House Trust archive

Reference code(s): GB 0210 CARUST

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Cardiff Bay Opera House Trust Archive

Short Title: Cardiff Bay Opera House Trust archive

Creation date(s): 1991-1997 (accumulated 1993-1997)

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 1.03 cubic metres (36 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Cardiff Bay Opera House Trust


Administrative/Biographical history: The Cardiff Bay Opera House Trust (CBOHT) aimed to create a venue for the performing arts in Wales. Nicholas Edwards, Secretary of State for Wales, approved a scheme to construct a barrage across Cardiff Bay, Glamorgan to build a freshwater lake in 1986 to improve the environment of the area. Its work began in 1990, and Cardiff Bay Development Corporation set up a Steering Group to examine the feasibility of the construction of an arts centre as part of the scheme. The Conservative Party manifesto for Wales for the 1992 election committed itself to the building of the Cardiff Bay Opera House. The Cardiff Bay Opera House Trust was established in 1993 as a company limited by guarantee with charitable status, with trustees representing political and cultural areas of activities in Wales. Management of the Trust's activities was carried out by Adrian Ellis Associates. The Trust ran an open competition for an architect to design the building, leading to the selection of four contestants who, along with four nominated architects, produced designs. Zaha Hadid's design won the competition and was endorsed by the Trust. The Millennium Commission however refused the funding for the opera house in 1995. In 1997, when it became clear that the project did not have the support of the leader of Cardiff City Council, the Trust was dissolved.


Scope and content/abstract: Records of the Cardiff Bay Opera House Trust (and its predecessor Opera House Steering Committee), mainly committee and publicity material, 1991-1997; papers relating to the architects competition, 1994-1996; proposed Opera House building design and surveyors' correspondence, 1994-1995; administrative correspondence, 1994-1996; funding applications, 1995-1996; financial papers, 1993-1995; and public relations (press cuttings), 1994-1996.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: Committee minutes, Trust correspondence files, trustees files, building correspondence files, Adrian Ellis Associates, architectural competition, submissions for Opera House funding, financial files, public relations, and assets disposal.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed online.

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Archival history: The model of the winning design has been temporarily retained (since 1997) by Zaha Hadid for exhibition purposes.

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by Mandy Wix, Project Director, 1997.


Related material: Display boards, models, plans, slides and photographs, are in NLW, Special Collections.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds

Archivist's note: Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following source was used for the compilation of this description: NLW, Cardiff Bay Opera House Trust Archive.

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH

Date(s) of descriptions: January 2003

Architecture | Wales
Cardiff Bay Opera House Trust | Archives
Theatres | Wales | Cardiff | Designs and plans

Personal names
Hadid , Zaha , 1950-

Corporate names
Cardiff Bay Development Corporation
Cardiff Bay Opera House Trust

Cardiff (Wales)

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