The income from Princess Pavilion is beginning to look promising particularly from bar sales and catering, councillors have been told.

At a meeting of Falmouth Town Council’s finance and general purposes committee last night, members considered a report about the pavilion budget written by finance officer Ruth Thomas.

She reported that the move to in-house provision of services at the Princess Pavilion and Gyllyngdune Gardens site has significantly increased both income to £432k but also expenditure to £552k due to staff costs.

This was because of staff transferred to the council in May 2022, grew the number of employees across from council from 37 full time in January 2022 to 73 by January 2023.

She said activities onsite have returned to and often exceeded pre-pandemic levels, supported by a diverse range of community and commercial use.

She said income potential is closely monitored, and future scheduling will further increase income potential and so reduce the level of funding required.

Bar provision moved to an inhouse model in October 2022 with the increase in takings impacting positively on income.

“Overall, the budget outlook for Princess Pavilion is not guaranteed but is looking promising,” she said.

“The concern is that any budget surplus, instead of being considered by F&GP, is simply reallocated to repairs, renewals and infrastructure without oversight.

“My recommendation is that budget headings on expenditure shall apply and if, as we hope, income is generated above the level estimated in our budget, then the surplus is ‘banked’ until it can be considered at budget seeing or items of urgent expenditure are brought back to committee, or notified to councillors as in our standing orders.”

She said current estimates are for slightly less income on theatre events (£10,863) but significantly more on catering, including bar sales (£261,358 above).

“This is a promising outlook but not guaranteed. All the income figures depend on the skills and hard work of our staff,” she said.

She said the overspend this month was fairly small with some underspends as well.

Welcoming the progress, former mayor Cllr Steve Eva said: “Isn’t it nice talking about that there may be something left over at the end of the year after all the gloom and doom we’ve had about how it is a white elephant that it would never make any money and it will never do this.”

Responding, committee chair Jude Robinson said: “Absolutely, but none of this is guaranteed, it depends on the hard work of our staff and I think they are doing brilliant work.”


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Cllr Jayne Kirkham agreed that if there was any profit made it should be put back into to reserves to help with next year’s precept. This year it was increased to account for the Princess Pavilion.

“There was a big budget,” she said. “It’s brilliant that income is coming in, that’s fantastic, but if there’s money over, I do agree that if it can be put in reserves it should be, because anything we save because of good performance will affect the precept next year.”

Cllr Eva said running the Princess Pavilion as a facility for the community was what the council should be doing otherwise they should just pack up and go home.

“I would say 95% of the people I have spoken to are absolutely 100 per cent behind it,” he said. “It’s a facility we are offering, that’s what the town council does. It’s not all profit. If you’re going to work on profit you’ll shut all the public toilets, shut the gallery, shut the parks, shut it all down and we’ll all go home. We offer the town facilities.”