At last nights Regatta Annual Public Meeting the committee announced a significant loss for last year of -£36,500. In addition the loss for 2016 has been adjusted after audit to -£20,000, a further -£8000 loss. Lesley Turner, the regatta honorary treasurer, announced that, as a result of these losses the regatta committee will need to make fundamental changes to the format of the regatta.
Some of the causes of this loss include reduced turnover for the regatta of £177k, which is £14k down on last year. This comes from reduced income from collections (-40%), reduced income from car parking (2015 - £19k, 2016 - £10k, 2017 - £5.5K) and other reductions. Cost of sales were £95,300 up £5,500 on last year and Operational costs were £118,000. Overall the committee believes footfall for the regatta was down by 30%. Which reflects our own assessment of footfall trends in the town throughout the season.
The details of the financial report will be published later when they become available to Dartmouth Business News.
The Chairman, Ed Botteril, is away on duty but his Chairman’s message to the meeting was read out by Hilary Bastone. He stressed that times have changed and the costs of running the regatta have been escalating for some years now. He also stated that the current model is unsustainable and there will need to be significant changes to the format to save on costs. He thanked Devon County Council, South Hams District Council, Dartmouth Town Council, Dart Harbour Authority, the Royal navy and all of the volunteers who make the regatta possible. He also asked for more volunteers to come forward to give practical help to the regatta.
The effect of these financial problems is to require savings in many areas. For instance this year there will be no Marque, no Park & Ride extension, reduced traffic order restrictions, no Air Displays and further cutting of high expenses such as security guards (2017 - £14,000)
The membership of the regatta committee were read out. Hopefully this will be published on the Regatta website?
The Collector of the year was Ben Harper for the second year running.
Under AOB there was then some debate over what needs to be done to ensure the regatta survives. This included the suggestion that, as well as reducing costs the committee must look at ways they can increase the footfall through better marketing and promotion of the event.
It was suggested that Dartmouth Businesses should make a bigger investment in the regatta. While this is true it was suggested that the committee needs to look at ways of reducing the negative impact regatta has on some non riverside businesses in the town. Then there would probably be more financial support from Dartmouth businesses.
The meeting closed at 8.15pm