THE jewel in Bridlington’s crown is facing a tough year ahead.
Since re-opening in June 2008, Bridlington Spa’s operating costs during its first year were almost £414,000.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council has set a target for its current year costs of £260,000, a cut of more than a third and projections for the following year are down to £150,000.
However, members of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Greater Prosperity heard the authority was confident this could be achieved without affecting quality of the range of entertainment and activities on offer.
Coun Richard Burton, chairman of the committee, said they were pleased with the way the Spa was going after hearing the report by Nigel Leighton, Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services, and a verbal presentation by Spa Manager Andrew Aldis.
“Clearly the Spa is making a major contribution to Bridlington and costs are going down.
“Spending in the Spa is going up and this is clearly good news for Bridlington. It needs to work well for all businesses in the down. It is moving in the right direction and this is very welcome from the committees point of view.”
Members had been told that achieving this ongoing reduction in costs lay in strict cost controls, exploring new revenue opportunities and improved marketing and promotion.
In his report, Mr Leighton, Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services, said: “The financial improvement is being sought via tightening of expenditure, where it is possible to do this without compromising quality, and the pursuit of additional income.”
Mr Leighton also said before the Spa’s £20million refurbishment, it was predicted it would take up to 10 years before it was able to operationally break even.
He added: “Although it is still too early to be sure, the signs are promising in terms of the facility either achieving this target or being close to doing so.”
Income from the Spa doubled between 2004/5 and 2009/10, he said, due to increased activity at the Spa in terms of the number of events, shows, meetings and people using the cafe and bar.
This season’s pantomime was said to have brought in an extra £20,000 and 1,800 more customers than previously.
Despite cuts to its operating budget, future plans include attracting more and even better high-profile and good quality events, shows and conferences, audience development through a wider range of shows and events, better marketing and promotion, more use of the internet and of the Spa Evirons as a public performance space.
One idea was working with up-and-coming theatre companies and educational establishments.