Record ticket sales at Bury’s Apex bring a welcome boost to the town’s night time economy
- Credit: Archant
Tickets sales at one of west Suffolk’s leading arts venues have risen by more than 50% in the past year, providing a welcome boost to the night-time economy in Bury St Edmunds.
Figures for The Apex in 2014 show that 61,399 tickets were sold between April and the end of December, compared to 40,795 for the same period the previous year. That in turn saw nearly a 30% increase in revenue to £827,190.
According to the figures just released by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, there were also more “sell-out” shows at the Apex during that period, and there was a 50% increase in first time, and repeat bookings.
In December, it was announced that The Apex and Bury’s historic Theatre Royal are to share a management team for a six month trial period in a bid to minimise costs and improve efficiency.
The team believes it is on course to deliver further budget savings of around £50,000 at the Apex in the next financial year.
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According to Mark Cordell, chief executive of ourburystedmunds, the extra business at The Apex is also bringing additional customers to the town centre, particularly to its restaurants and cafes.
He said: “I am absolutely delighted to hear that ticket sales for events at The Apex are on the up and it appears to me that the number of household names now appearing in Bury is increasing.
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“This will no doubt have a positive knock on effect for food and drink establishments in the town as I am sure a proportion of each audience will choose to come into town beforehand and have a bite to eat and a drink.”
Sarah Stamp, cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage at the borough council described the Apex as a “truly world class venue with enormous cultural value”.
She said: “People consistently tell us they value St Edmundsbury’s investment in leisure and culture facilities so it is great that more and more people are discovering The Apex.
“Putting aside the brilliant acts and fantastic nights people have enjoyed there, The Apex is an investment because it also helps contribute £5million to the local economy by bringing more people into the heart of Bury.
“Our ticket sales show it is increasing in popularity, while significant achievements have been made to reduce the running costs of The Apex.”
In 2012/13 the annual budget for the venue was £775,000. Since then its running costs have reduced each year, and it is on track to come in under budget at around £620,000 at the end of this financial year.
During the six month collaboration with The Theatre Royal, the joint board will also look at how new income can be gained by growing the audience for both venues.