The WRU Group has renegotiated its current partnership with food services provider Compass Group UK & Ireland to produce a new 15-year deal which will significantly increase revenue for the Millennium Stadium, and therefore rugby in Wales.
The catering, hospitality and conferences services contract is worth c £100 million in revenue to Compass over the duration of the contract.
The partnership now also includes a five-year extension to the original deal, which Compass signed when the stadium opened in 1999. The new terms will run until 2024 and include the Millennium Stadium's acquisition of the extensive kitchen and catering facilities installed by Compass on the Stadium site at the time of its creation.
The Millennium Stadium and Compass intend to use this new deal as a springboard towards increasing the volume of major sports, cultural and leisure events as well as conferences and other non event day business on the stadium calendar.
Steve Phillips, Group Finance Director of WRU Group, said: "The new deal will provide Millennium Stadium plc with improved profitability per event and will align the stadium with comparable stadia in commercial terms.
"The quality and the service of the Compass offering has always been first class and they have been very flexible in adapting to our diverse range of events. A key component of the renegotiated terms means that WRU profits will rise on an event by event basis, thus encouraging Millennium Stadium and Compass to work closely together on attracting events, functions and conferences to the Stadium. On this basis, we were delighted to grant a contract extension of five years."
Roger Lewis, Group Chief Executive of WRU, said: "Our Group Finance Director has been instrumental in the creation of one of the most significant commercial deals for Welsh rugby, guaranteeing significant income streams and incentivising both Millennium Stadium and WRU staff to maximise the potential of events for the next 15 years.
"Both Steve and our friends at Compass deserve high praise for the huge contribution they have made to ensuring the bright future of Welsh rugby and the Millennium Stadium and all its partners for many years to come."
Matthew Thompson, Managing Director of Sport Leisure and Hospitality at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: "Compass Group has a very positive relationship with WRU and the Millennium Stadium and I am pleased that we could forge a new deal that will provide significant financial support for rugby in Wales."
WRU International Skills Coach Jason Strange is a busy man, combining the new role with that of Wales Under 20 attack coach, Ebbw Vale head coach and continuing to teach at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
Following their historic win over England, Wales Under 20 suffered a narrow, 36-34 loss to their Scottish counterparts last weekend, despite outscoring them by five tries to three. Watch the match highlights and reaction.
WRU TV go behind the scenes with the Wales squad as they put the final touches in place ahead of the clash against Scotland at Murrayfield. Follow the squad on their captain's run, the kickers visit to Murrayfield and Neil Jenkins' press conference