Opera Holland Park is cutting its ties with the local authority in which it was founded and is planning its first season as a private company in 2013. Owned and managed by The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea since it was established in 1996, it is now set to become an independent charitable company. The separation will enable the opera to work more commercially outside of local government while the Royal Borough continues its support through a new funding agreement that will promote accessibility and ensure that a cheap or free seats scheme can continue. This new direction is supported by the Friends of Opera Holland Park, who will be closely involved in the future of the company. A board, led by Martin Kramer, a media lawyer and trustee of OHP Friends, will oversee the company’s transition to full independence. Opera Holland Park has a £3m turnover, including an annual subsidy of about £450,000 from the Royal Borough. It is currently sponsored by financial products and services provider Investec Wealth & Investment and this will continue when the company splits from the Council. The Borough has welcomed the move to independence as one that gives the company “the brightest future possible” while reducing its own financial risk.