Sellout shows help top concert venue break even

Sellout shows by Sinead O’Connor, the Buena Vista Social Club, and the award-winning The Gloaming contributed to the National Concert Hall (NCH) last year recording its biggest crowds since 2009.

Last year, 329,650 patrons went through the doors of the NCH resulting in ticket sales at the venue increasing by 2.85% to €7m — the highest figure since 2010.

The directors’ report states that “the average spend per customer saw a slight increase and breaking €7m in box office sales was reflective of the growth in visitor numbers, both signs of uplift in the economy as well as the strength of the programme and intensive marketing effort”.

In a break-even year for the NCH, the venue played host to 898 events.

Grand aid for the NCH last year totalled €2.14m.

The accounts show that ceo, Simon Taylor last year received €102,521 in salary and in his report, Mr Taylor said that the NCH had “a very busy and successful year” in 2014.

Mr Taylor said that the NCH delivered “a programme of quality, breadth and diversity, while achieving increased attendances and a balanced budget”.

The NCH’s annual report states that the total economic impact that the NCH has on the local economy for 2014 was €38.7m.

He added: “It is essential for the Hall that we balance our artistic and public service remit with sound commercial and business judgement. 2014 was an important year in realising our strategy for the wider redevelopment of the Earlsfort Terrace site as the dedicated centre of musical performance ensuring the long-term future of the Hall and site itself”.

The Minister for Arts and Heritage, Heather Humphreys, said: “I intend to publish legislation in the coming weeks which will place the NCH on a statutory footing; something I believe will be a very positive development for the future of the Hall in the years to come. I would like to commend the NCH for the strong set of results for 2014.”

Accounts recently filed with the Companies Office show that the NCH recorded a modest loss of €4,433 and this followed a loss of €13,389 in 2013.

The modest losses of 2014 and 2013 followed the NCH recording a profit of €115,164

The NCH at the end of November last had reserves of €2.592m. The NCH’s cash stood at €4.63m.

The report states that, “after successive years of failing fundraising numbers, 2014 saw a small but positive growth in overall income value”.

The report adds that, “in addition, the improving economic environment augurs well for 2015 and going forward, the annual development plan envisages growth in the number of Friends, Patrons and Corporate Associates, as well as income across all streams.

Numbers employed by the NCH last year totalled 102.


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