Terms and conditions - Venue hire

Standard terms and conditions for the hire of galleries for entertaining in the National Portrait Gallery.

1. The National Portrait Gallery, (the Gallery), is prepared to offer facilities for functions to be held within specified accommodation. The Gallery houses a national art collection, the safety of which is of paramount importance, as is the Grade I listed building in which it is housed. Applications for use of accommodation for functions will be accepted only if functions are considered reasonable and appropriate for the Gallery as a venue.

2. Those placing bookings (the Hirer) must fully and fairly represent the purpose for which accommodation is required. Any misrepresentation may result in cancellation of the function at any time by the Gallery. Under no circumstances may the Hirer sub-let or further offer for hire any of the accommodation booked.

3. The Hirer must declare in full the range of people to whom tickets will be given or sold and if tickets are to be sold, the specific means by which this is to be done. Under no circumstances may the function or ticket sales be advertised to the general public in national or local circulation papers or magazines, or in posters or handbills, without the prior approval in writing of the Gallery's Events Manager. Tickets may not be offered for sale in the immediate vicinity of the Gallery.

4. The time agreed on the Confirmation of Booking form at which the event must finish must be strictly adhered to: all guests must have left the Gallery premises by that time.

5. Due to the unique nature of the collection and the Gallery as a venue, it has been necessary to ensure that any supplier fully respects the delicate nature of the collection, for this reason you must choose one of the suppliers on our approved list. Complaints regarding their services should be taken up directly with suppliers. The contract between the Gallery and the Hirer is limited to the hire of the Gallery. The Gallery will not accept responsibility for the performance of services outside the hire of the Gallery.

6. Bars must stop serving 30 minutes before the time the event is due to end, and any music must stop 20 minutes before the event is to end.

7. Hirers should note that the front doors will be closed at 6.00pm and will not be opened again until 15 minutes before the commencement of the event (5 minutes for receptions). Chairmen, and distinguished hosts, should be asked not to arrive before that time. Preparations by organisers for events will not be permitted in the public galleries before 6.00pm, when the Gallery shuts to the public.

8. Hirers must ensure that the number of guests does not exceed the Gallery's stated capacity limits nor the number as shown on the Confirmation of Booking Form. A surcharge of £15 per head will be levied if numbers exceed by ten people more than the number agreed in the contract. Organising personnel are to be included in the number of guests.

9. No deposit is required when making a booking, but a cancellation fee of £500 will be applied if cancellation is received after the return of the Hirer's official Confirmation of Booking form.

10. The Hirer must specifically agree with the Gallery's Events Manager and adhere to instructions with respect to the precise type of entertainment to be provided, eg music and any similar entertainment. Any specified maximum volume or level of sound for music or other entertainment must be strictly adhered to.

11. The Hirer must take instructions from the Gallery's Events Manager, and, while functions are in progress, from the Front of House Manager. The senior member of the uniformed warding staff on duty will assume full control and responsibility for procedures, including, where appropriate, evacuation procedures in the event of his or her perception that any security matter, including bomb, fire, or the behaviour of those attending events, warrants such control and implementation of procedure.

12. The Hirer is not to employ extra security personnel. Invitations to Royalty, senior Members of Parliament and other VIP guests should be noted at the time of booking.

13. Gallery employees will staff the front entrance, and will ward the Galleries in use. A member of the Hirer's organisation should be on hand in the front entrance to identify guests.

14. Copies of the invitation card and a guest list must be sent to the Gallery's Events Manager prior to the event.

15. The Hirer will be responsible for keeping proper order and shall also ensure that all persons attending the event shall behave in a seemly manner and comply with any instructions they may receive from any Gallery official.

16. Because of the Gallery's location, there are severe restrictions on parking; only the caterers' vehicles may be accommodated. All deliveries must be pre-arranged and registration numbers of vehicles and names of personnel provided 48 hours in advance. The delivery yard is closed at 6pm for security reasons. Collections can be made the following morning by arrangement with the Events Manager.

17. Organising personnel, and other personnel employed by the Hirer, should not arrive before 6.00 pm. Personnel arriving at 6.00 pm should report to the Gallery's Orange Street entrance. Names are to be provided in advance, and personnel will be asked to sign in and wear a security badge, which must be returned before leaving. It is regretted that no office facilities, including telephones, are available for use by organisers or Hirers. Public telephones are available, and Gallery staff are instructed to deny access to offices and office machinery.

18. After the event, the Hirer must remove from the Gallery all litter and anything brought and placed therein by any person, and ensure that the accommodation and the access routes are left in a tidy condition to the satisfaction of the Gallery's Events Manager. The Gallery will not accept responsibility for loss or damage to any articles brought into the Gallery by organisers or guests.

19. No alterations may be made to the layout or appearance of any room.

20. While the Gallery will indemnify the Hirer against claims resulting from the Gallery's negligence the Gallery does not accept any responsibility for claims arising from the Hiree's own personnel, guests and suppliers employed by the Hirer. The Hirer will be responsible for arranging any insurance to cover such risks.


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