A sour note was sounded at the National Concert Hall last year as one of the country’s most important cultural institutions saw losses increase sharply to almost €300,000.
The latest annual report from the NCH shows it posted a deficit of €293,430 in 2015 on turnover of just under €7m. It had incurred losses of just €4,433 the previous year.
More than 321,000 guests attended over 1,000 different events at the venue last year, which NCH’s outgoing chairperson Gerry Kearney said had led to a modest increase in ticket sales.
The NCH said over half of all guests attending events last year were first-time visitors. Income from corporate sponsors rose by almost 30% to over €566,000 although sponsorship for individual events was below target.
The NCH, which has been placed on a statutory footing since the enactment of special legislation in February, said the principal risk and uncertainty affecting the organisation in 2016 is the potential reduction in funding from government grants.
The value of such grants was €2.24m last year — an increase of €100,000 on 2014 levels — contributing 32% of all income in 2015.
Mr Kearney said the recording of a deficit meant the immediate issue for the NCH was to determine how best to address such a financial challenge while maintaining the diversity, innovations and traditions of the venue.
CEO Simon Taylor said the weakness of the euro against sterling had impacted negatively on some major promotions.
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