PACL Unveils Plans for the Future
Apr 18, 2017
On 9th March we posted a brief explanation for the temporary changes to the Pavilion opening hours and the operation of the Cinema. Since then we have been aware of the understandable concerns amongst the local community regarding the future of the Pavilion. We are now in a position to provide further details of our development strategy and hope that this will provide the community with the necessary reassurance regarding the long-term sustainability of the Pavilion.
Towards the middle of 2016 the Board of Trustees received encouraging details of a significant improvement in the financial health of the Pavilion as a result of important changes in the day to day management of the Pavilion. However, the Board acknowledged that, for this improvement to continue, there needed to be a long-term strategy throughout 2017 and beyond. Detailed planning for this strategy began in August 2016 and, having held discussions with a range of other similar organisations, it became clear that additional resources would be required to ensure the effective implementation of the plans, particularly in respect of additional professional advice regarding the various facilities within the Pavilion. Through our membership of Arts and Business Cymru we obtained expert advice regarding possible sources of external financial support for our development plans. We were also advised that we needed to undertake a thorough review of the first three years of operations within the Pavilion in order to provide a clear picture of the operational peaks and troughs within the Pavilion. This review demonstrated an urgent need to modify the ‘7 days a week/ 362 days a year’ model that had been in operation since the Pavilion re-opened on 2013.These changes were introduced at the beginning of March and continue to be reviewed on a regular basis.
Whilst this review was taking place a formal application was put together under the ‘Resilient Heritage Programme’ of the Heritage Lottery Fund, a newly established scheme designed to provide essential financial support to organisations looking to develop a sustainable business model for their organisation. This application was submitted formally to the HLF in February and we were naturally delighted to learn at the very end of March that we had been awarded a grant of £126k over an eighteen-month period. This grant will be used exclusively to develop a more sustainable business model for the Pavilion and will enable us to secure external professional advice on all aspects of our operations. It will also provide opportunities for our small core staff group to continue to seek additional external revenue support both from other grant-awarding bodies and the local community. We are extremely grateful for the continuing support of our regular visitors to the Pavilion and to our extremely loyal band of volunteers.
A key factor in developing our plans for the future, has been ongoing discussions with the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Penarth Town Council and we are most grateful to them for their continuing support. Both councils have a strong stake in the future success of the Pavilion and we recognise the need for a more coordinated approach to managing this iconic facility. Our plans for the future will inevitably involve collaboration with the Local Authority to ensure solutions are ‘joined up’ and maximise the opportunities that exist.
Over the coming months we will provide regular updates on the progress of our developing plans.