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Accounts for Eden Court Theatre in Inverness paint a positive picture

By Andrew Dixon

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Eden Court. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Eden Court. Picture: James Mackenzie.

A SIGNIFICANT focus on fundraising has helped Eden Court generate more than £1.9 million of additional income last year.

The charity’s latest accounts show it has also secured more than £885,000 for the current financial year.

This cash is in addition to regular grants from the Highland Council and Creative Scotland, and on top of income received through the coronavirus job retention scheme, also known as the furlough scheme.

A trustees report alongside the accounts for the year ended March 31, 2020 stated: “ Eden Court has managed to steer itself well through the Covid-19 pandemic thanks to various emergency support and a significant focus on fundraising, led by the chief executive [James Mackenzie-Blackman].

“In addition to prudent cost management, our financial strategy for the coming year, as we steer our way through the pandemic, involves the continued development of relationships with funders, both public organisations and individual philanthropists, in order to provide financial support towards delivery of our artistic and engagement programmes.

“Eden Court’s senior team have, at January 2021, prepared three detailed cash flow scenarios through to March 2022. In all three scenarios the charity remains in a positive cash position.”

The accounts cover a productive and busy 12 months which ended abruptly due to the pandemic.

The Inverness venue started to experience less footfall and reduced daily ticket sales from mid-February 2020 and closed its doors for the initial lockdown in the middle of the following month.

The report added: “The pandemic’s continuing impact meant that all efforts in 2020/21 became focused on ensuring the continued financial viability of Eden Court.

“The trustees are focused on reopening Eden Court’s facilities as soon as it can be done safely and in accordance with government guidelines.

“While there will inevitably be a recovery period, the trustees are keen to see a return to the full program of events as soon as possible.”

Total income for 2019/20 was £6,767,158, up from £6,516,406 for the previous year. For the same period, total expenditure increased from £6,592,246 to £6,799,554.

Highlights included the Beauty and the Beast pantomime attracting an audience of 35,644, and more than 200 musicians performing to 25,000 people at pop-up music festival Under Canvas.

Its live programme attracted 164,719 attendances across 550 performances.

The average number of employees dipped from 100 in 2018/19 to 97 the following year, while staff costs fell from £2,805,042 to £2,766,291.

Meanwhile, the charity said trading through its restaurant, café and bars, plus sales of confectionery, show merchandise and programmes was strong.

Accounts for this showed turnover fell from £1,603,176 in 2018/19 to £1,506,033 for the year after, while pre-tax profit dropped from £346,817 to £250,009, mostly due to the pandemic.

Related news: Cinemas and café bar to reopen at Eden Court in Inverness as coronavirus restrictions ease

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