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Sark’s visitor centre needs to raise £32k to meet costs

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SARK’S visitor centre will need to raise £32,000 through advertising charges and shop sales next year to cover its running costs.

Because its subsidy from Chief Pleas has been reduced further for 2019, Sark’s visitor will have to raise £32,000 from commercial activities to meet its running costs. (19295291)

The island’s Tourism Committee announced the proposed changes in the agenda for Chief Pleas’ Christmas meeting.

Due to the annual reduction of the committee’s funding and the need for further subsidy, the centre will have to raise the money to cover its services.

‘In 2017, the Tourism Committee received £93,674 from Chief Pleas. In 2018, this was reduced to £90,935 and covered tourism and public health expenses. In 2019, this will be reduced to £88,098,’ the committee said.

‘Various workshops were held with Tourism in 2018 in order to decipher what would be an appropriate budget and how the money should be split in respect of the various elements making up the budget.

‘Overall, it was recognised that the visitor centre required more funding, needing £120,098 to operate. In 2019, we will need to generate a gross income of £32,000.

‘This has led to a number of changes in the way the visitor centre will operate. This will include the visitor centre generating funds through advertising charges (eg for businesses to advertise in the brochure and on the website) and permit fees.

‘Where we provide a service to private individuals or organisations, such as selling tickets, then they should pay for that service so as to cover part if not all of the respective costs in terms of staff wages.

‘It also means that we will need to be commercial in terms of the profits received from shop sales.’

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The committee also reported that summer tourism figures had been affected by Manches Iles having to cancel sailings during July and August due to vessel faults.

‘Otherwise, it is likely that we would have seen the trend in the growth of visitor numbers continue from Jersey and our visitor numbers would have looked more positive, especially as our weather over summer was so good,’ the committee said.

‘It is hoped that Manche Iles has not lost the faith of its passengers due to the disruptions in its service as this this could potentially affect the number of passengers it will bring to Sark in 2019.

‘Overall, the passenger figures over past years is fairly consistent with gentle increase in trend which would have no doubt continued in 2018 had the Manche Iles boats not suffered from technical difficulties.’

Aaron Carpenter

By Aaron Carpenter
News reporter

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