WESTBURY company Audience Systems has won major prestigious contracts to supply seating for the O2 Arena, Royal Albert Hall, and the brand new 13,000-seater Leeds Arena.
The West Wilts Trading Estate company is the market leader for spectator seating in the UK and already boasts installations at most of the UK’s major arenas including Wembley, ExCeL Arena, the NEC in Birmingham and the Manchester Evening News Arena.
Their new orders include 770 seats for the Royal Albert Hall, a deal which continues the company’s 15 year partnership with the venue; providing the seating for the new Leeds Arena; and new retractable seating units for the O2, the world’s busiest arena.
“We’re a major employer in Westbury with 100 people on site, but as we are tucked away on the West Wilts Trading Estate, many people simply don’t know we’re here!” said Nina Parmenter, the group marketing and PR manager.
“Our speciality is retractable seating – tiers of seating which fold completely away. These might be used by an arena to turn spectator space into standing room or a stage area, or by a school to allow an assembly hall to double as a theatre.
“The retractable units we are manufacturing for the 13,000 seat Leeds Arena will be some of the largest in the world. Meanwhile at the world’s busiest arena, the O2, the new retractable units will help the venue to reconfigure itself even more quickly in the short space of time they have between events.
“At the Royal Albert Hall, we have already installed theatre seats in two levels of the theatre. This new order is for a third phase of 770 chairs for the floor area. These seats can be completely removed to accommodate standing crowds – the flag wavers at the Last Night of the Proms for example.”
2011 is a busy year for Audience Systems, who are already working on seating for two other major international venues, one in Istanbul and the other in Switzerland.
With nearly 40 years in the industry, its seating is already installed in thousands of venues worldwide. Its customers include major UK venues, stadia in Qatar, theatres in the USA and TV stations in India. Other prestigious clients include BBC Studios, the Royal Caribbean Cruiseliners and the Sage in Gateshead. The company also exports to 50 countries worldwide.
Max Rich, director of sales, said that the contracts are, in part, down to successful orders from the venues in the past. “We’ve been established for a long time and worked on building relationships with our clients,” he explained. “My colleagues and I might do the sales, but if the product’s not good, then it won’t sell, so this is a testament to the local skilled workforce.