Pavilion on track to break even earlier than expected

Dorset Echo: DOING WELL: Weymouth Pavilion DOING WELL: Weymouth Pavilion

THE Weymouth Pavilion operator has revealed the venue is on track to break even earlier than expected.

Phil Say took control of the complex in July after Weymouth and Portland Borough Council could no longer afford to run it.

The council agreed to award a 10-year lease for the Pavilion to Mr Say’s Community Interest Company, subject to a number of conditions.

Mr Say said: “It now looks like we’ll get to the break even point earlier than midway through the second year. Things are on track to be better than we hoped.

“I’m confident in taking bookings and we have got bookings until November 2015.”

In 2011, the Echo revealed how the Pavilion cost taxpayers over £1.6million to run between 2009 and 2011. In light of financial pressures, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council considered demolishing the complex.

But Mr Say offered a proposal that left an estimated £500,000 demolition budget untouched and put the complex in the hands of the community.

Six months on from taking over, Mr Say confirmed the Pavilion was still sticking by the ‘something for everyone’ mantra.

He said: “Since Christmas, we’ve probably had 40, maybe even 50 different inquiries for new events from wedding receptions all the way through to dog shows.”

Mr Say confirmed a number of big productions from the West End had also been in touch with the venue but booking the shows in advance at this stage would be a big gamble.

“If you work out the maths on it, we would have to sell tickets in excess of £25 and we’d have to get over 80 per cent capacities to just break even across six shows.

“What’s easier is to supply what people want from shows that are less risky and less of a downside and only have an upside to them.”

Nevertheless, Mr Say confirmed he still intended for the venue to host one night shows and big name comedians.

He said: “I’m confident on the demand. The possible downside is minimal, the possible upside is minimal, but again it attracts footfall.”

Councillor Andy Blackwood, brief holder for community facilities, said: “I’m glad that the Weymouth Pavilion is up on its feet and it’s got regular shows and events back on.

“These are very early days and we hope that the Pavilion continues to provide a wide range of attractive shows and events for the people of Weymouth and Portland.”

  • TERMS of Phil Say’s Community Interest Company 10-year lease:
  • A £150,000 repayable loan to the council
  • A fixed annual contribution from the council of £30,000
  • The council awards an 80 per cent discretionary rate relief
  • The CIC meets the costs of car parking permits for staff and volunteers
  • The council meets liabilities that may arise from any staff issues

Comments (8)

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10:11am Sat 8 Feb 14

Sean1991 says...

The thing is though West End shows will sell well, they always have done. Shows like "The Neil Diamond Story, The Music of Michael Ball, The Rat Pack will not! People will pay £25 per ticket if the show if worth seeing. That'll Be The Day costs £22 per ticket & that always sells well, so no reason a West End show wouldn't If it's the right ones! Also shows need more advertising!!! There's nothing along the seafront advertising shows!
The thing is though West End shows will sell well, they always have done. Shows like "The Neil Diamond Story, The Music of Michael Ball, The Rat Pack will not! People will pay £25 per ticket if the show if worth seeing. That'll Be The Day costs £22 per ticket & that always sells well, so no reason a West End show wouldn't If it's the right ones! Also shows need more advertising!!! There's nothing along the seafront advertising shows! Sean1991
  • Score: 9

11:15am Sat 8 Feb 14

aviskat says...

Some of the ATG theatre tours might go down well though. Priscilla Queen of the Desert was so so brilliant and put a smile on lots of January faces in Milton Keynes
Some of the ATG theatre tours might go down well though. Priscilla Queen of the Desert was so so brilliant and put a smile on lots of January faces in Milton Keynes aviskat
  • Score: 3

11:29am Sat 8 Feb 14

peskykat says...

Good to hear that it is going well, but until they bring the West End Shows that tour the UK then i can't see myself attending any performances, i regularly went a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed Blood Brothers starring Linda Nolan, others like Joseph, Grease i also attended, i always went to the "Beyond The Barricade" shows - especially the Christmas ones, then there are the Bands Like Royal Marines that my Dad enjoyed going to , then there was Jane McDonald which was sold out which i enjoyed, The Searchers was another i enjoyed and was well attended. . If these sows were brought in from May - September during the busier times in Weymouth then surely attendance would be high ?
Good to hear that it is going well, but until they bring the West End Shows that tour the UK then i can't see myself attending any performances, i regularly went a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed Blood Brothers starring Linda Nolan, others like Joseph, Grease i also attended, i always went to the "Beyond The Barricade" shows - especially the Christmas ones, then there are the Bands Like Royal Marines that my Dad enjoyed going to , then there was Jane McDonald which was sold out which i enjoyed, The Searchers was another i enjoyed and was well attended. . If these sows were brought in from May - September during the busier times in Weymouth then surely attendance would be high ? peskykat
  • Score: 2

11:58am Sat 8 Feb 14

Sean1991 says...

peskykat wrote:
Good to hear that it is going well, but until they bring the West End Shows that tour the UK then i can't see myself attending any performances, i regularly went a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed Blood Brothers starring Linda Nolan, others like Joseph, Grease i also attended, i always went to the "Beyond The Barricade" shows - especially the Christmas ones, then there are the Bands Like Royal Marines that my Dad enjoyed going to , then there was Jane McDonald which was sold out which i enjoyed, The Searchers was another i enjoyed and was well attended. . If these sows were brought in from May - September during the busier times in Weymouth then surely attendance would be high ?
Same here, the only shows I'm seeing at the moment is That'll Be The Day & The Searchers (28th August) I remember seeing Fame twice in one week at £27 a ticket, but it was nearly sold out every night! People will pay it if the show is good! Jimmy Carr was also always sold out, which I believe was £25 a ticket. Even people like Ken Dodd still sell out, he might be in eighties but people still want to see him & Why can't we get comedians on their warm up tours! Lee Evans would definitely sell out.
[quote][p][bold]peskykat[/bold] wrote: Good to hear that it is going well, but until they bring the West End Shows that tour the UK then i can't see myself attending any performances, i regularly went a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed Blood Brothers starring Linda Nolan, others like Joseph, Grease i also attended, i always went to the "Beyond The Barricade" shows - especially the Christmas ones, then there are the Bands Like Royal Marines that my Dad enjoyed going to , then there was Jane McDonald which was sold out which i enjoyed, The Searchers was another i enjoyed and was well attended. . If these sows were brought in from May - September during the busier times in Weymouth then surely attendance would be high ?[/p][/quote]Same here, the only shows I'm seeing at the moment is That'll Be The Day & The Searchers (28th August) I remember seeing Fame twice in one week at £27 a ticket, but it was nearly sold out every night! People will pay it if the show is good! Jimmy Carr was also always sold out, which I believe was £25 a ticket. Even people like Ken Dodd still sell out, he might be in eighties but people still want to see him & Why can't we get comedians on their warm up tours! Lee Evans would definitely sell out. Sean1991
  • Score: 0

3:01pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Sally MacLennane says...

Sadly I don't believe Mr Say has the Business acumen to run this for the long term. About 8 months ago I contacted him to highlight services like Songkick Detour (and others), which are basically Kickstarter for events.

Get enough people to pledge money upfront to host an event, the promoter puts it on, if it doesn't happen, the pledgers get all their money back.

This is PERFECT for Weymouth pavilion, as it's then zero risk putting on events, and zero risk for consumers too.

Sad to say, never heard back from Mr Say......
Sadly I don't believe Mr Say has the Business acumen to run this for the long term. About 8 months ago I contacted him to highlight services like Songkick Detour (and others), which are basically Kickstarter for events. Get enough people to pledge money upfront to host an event, the promoter puts it on, if it doesn't happen, the pledgers get all their money back. This is PERFECT for Weymouth pavilion, as it's then zero risk putting on events, and zero risk for consumers too. Sad to say, never heard back from Mr Say...... Sally MacLennane
  • Score: 1

4:31pm Sat 8 Feb 14

portland rebel says...

Amazing ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,w&
pbc note, wasnt that hard was it' yet like everything else you where clueless.
Amazing ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,w& pbc note, wasnt that hard was it' yet like everything else you where clueless. portland rebel
  • Score: -1

10:04pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Tinker2 says...

Well done Phil. What you do and what you Say has worked out very well!
It's also a big well done and thankyou to all those Pavilion helpers who give their time.
Well done Phil. What you do and what you Say has worked out very well! It's also a big well done and thankyou to all those Pavilion helpers who give their time. Tinker2
  • Score: 0

11:05pm Sat 8 Feb 14

melcombe boy says...

You all fail to mention other successes at the Pavillion.
Sepultura an iconic Brazilian thrash metal band made a recent return to the venue. Most of of you won't know who they are but it was actually quite a coup
for Weymouth. Well done all involved and keep up the great work!
You all fail to mention other successes at the Pavillion. Sepultura an iconic Brazilian thrash metal band made a recent return to the venue. Most of of you won't know who they are but it was actually quite a coup for Weymouth. Well done all involved and keep up the great work! melcombe boy
  • Score: 0

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