Party People Cardiff Castle Christmas parties cancelled

A series of big party events planned for Cardiff Castle in the run up to Christmas has been cancelled by the organisers.

The announcement has left potentially thousands of would-be office party goers looking for alternatives.

The Party People Group had planned events for a dozen nights in the castle grounds charging £55 a head.

Cardiff council said the event organisers had failed to meet deadlines on a series of contractual obligations.

The company had promised a night to remember with dinner, dodgems and a disco running into the early hours of the morning.

Some of the nights were listed as sold out.

But the council, which owns the castle, said in a statement that the company had not satisfied contractual obligations including compliance with environmental health, health and safety, and licensing regulations.

"Detailed plans were also required to demonstrate the company was capable of the safe staging of this type of event in a Grade 1-listed site," it said.

"Since signing the first stage of the agreement, the Party People Group failed to meet the deadlines on a series of these contractual obligations and we were informed on November 28th that they would no longer be holding this event at the castle."

Recorded message

The council said the reputation of Cardiff Castle, as one of Wales premier event destinations, was taken "extremely seriously".

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Media captionAndrea Rowsell: "We've all got glamorous dresses and nowhere to go"

It stressed that its own events at the castle were not affected.

The statement added that all requests for refunds needed to be sent to the company.

The council was also alerting party goers to the cancellations via the social networking site Twitter.

The Party People Group's website was unavailable apart from a statement apologising for the cancellations and promising that refunds would be processed within 48 hours.

Their contact phone number carries a similar recorded message. It is believed they operated from serviced offices in the Rumney area of Cardiff.

Part-time sales negotiator Andrea Rowsell, from Bristol, who had arranged to attend one of the party nights with a group of 19 friends, said she was informed by email that it has been cancelled.

'So upsetting'

Part of the email she received read: "Due to the recent extreme weather conditions and other circumstances beyond our control we took advice and reached the conclusion that we should move the parties from the grounds of Cardiff Castle to an alternative venue and we immediately sought to do so.

"Unfortunately due to the time constraints this proved impossible and we have no alternative but to announce the cancellation of the parties."

Ms Rowsell said: "We are really very, very angry. Its so upsetting".

She said the group normally had their reunions in Bath or Bristol but had decided to come to Cardiff for a change instead.

As well as the cost of the party tickets, she said they have booked hotels and brought expensive going out dresses for the occasion.

"They've said we will get our money back within 48 hours, so I'm waiting to see what happens now."

Jon Hughes, managing director of Talk Training Ltd in Pontypridd which had booked its Christmas outing at one of the parties, said they had been suspicious because none of their cheques had been cashed.

"We've got 39 very disappointed people now. We are trying to arrange something else in Cardiff but of course everything is booked up at this stage.

"We may have to hold our party in the new year."

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