Alderney staycations helps triple annual surplus to £177,550

HUNDREDS of Guernsey residents who visited Alderney for a holiday in last year’s Covid summer helped the island’s government to more than triple its annual surplus for the year to £177,550.

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But tourism did not make a significant contribution to the financial out-turn. Campsite rents were cut, the harbour deficit more than doubled as dues and fees fell and the States chose to offer free mooring fees for visitors and a free tax service. Ports income fell by more than £100,000 but Policy & Finance Committee chairman Bill Abel said ‘these measures were well received within the Bailiwick and undoubtedly benefited the island’s economy’.

‘Staycation visits from new and old friends in the Bailiwick have been of significant impact on our economy in this last year and they are to be thanked and will always be welcome,’ he said.

The island’s tourism marketing team had to do what they could during Covid, upping its digital marketing, freezing advertising contracts where possible, and reusing the 2020 brochure in 2021.

It saved £25,000 through the process compared to 2019.

The States of Alderney’s surplus grew from £48,500 in 2019 as it received £426,026 in operational activities and spent £3.47m.

The out-turn was achieved with other forms of income, taxes and duties, and a £1.88m. grant from the States of Guernsey.

Capital spending was slashed from almost £3m. which had been planned to £1.24m. as projects and replacements vehicles and plant were delayed due to lockdown and Covid restrictions.

The most expensive project which did take place was an extension to the Royal Connaught care home at nearly £250,000.

The Water Board accounts showed a surplus for the year of £118,026, significantly up on 2019’s £33,700.

‘The Covid-19 lockdown and related restrictions had a significant impact on the island and considering the difficulties faced in 2020, the achievement of a surplus of £177,550 reflects the efforts of staff to contain costs, the lower levels of grant applications and approvals, and increases in income mainly from increased property sales,’ said Mr Abel.

He said that capital infrastructure projects would continue to be a focus in coming years.

Mr Abel said that Alderney’s fiscal union with Guernsey was now more valuable and important than ever and said the island was grateful for furlough payments and business support throughout the pandemic.

‘Challenges for 2021 are related to the continued Covid-19 pandemic and how the “new normal” associated with an endemic Covid-19 situation continues to impact on the economy, travel to the island, and the recovery of our tourism and other businesses in the second half of 2021 as the Bailiwick border restrictions are reduced,’ he added.

‘Our focus for 2021 will continue to be on transport links, refurbishment of our runway, completion of infrastructure projects, attracting families and businesses to the island, and other economic development initiatives to offset reducing revenues and grow our economy.’

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