Royal Albert Hall enjoys a record performance in 2012
5 June, 2013
The Royal Albert Hall, a financially independent charity that operates without any government or local revenue funding, today revealed a record performance in 2012 with an operating income of £16.8 million, a rise of 4.3% from 2011. With 377 events on its main stage and an audience of 1.58 million people, the venue was able to provide funds for the charity, delivering an operating surplus of £4.5 million. This contributes to the upkeep and advancement of the Hall for the public benefit and the promotion of the appreciation and understanding of arts and sciences; charitable aims established by its founder Prince Albert in supporting the cultural life of the UK.
The majority of the Hall’s income came from rentals and ticket commission - ticket commission from third party lettings and associated box office revenue grew by £378,000 - within an economically volatile and competitive market. The Hall continued to attract the highest quality and variety of events and provided memorable customer and performer experiences with a range of shows including Emeli Sandé and Gary Barlow, Championship Boxing, Cirque du Soleil, the Statoil Masters Tennis, the BBC Proms and the world premieres of Skyfall and Titanic in 3D.
The Hall’s own promotions, which included performances by Lang Lang, Valentina Lisitsa, and live orchestra performances to the films of West Side Story and Fantasia, generated £410,000 more than in 2011. New sponsors such as Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Berry Bros. & Rudd and new branded spaces from Haagen-Dazs and Aspall, which together contribute to the overall customer experience, boosted sponsorship income by £87,000, important factors in the Hall’s operating income. The other main source of funds for the charity came from its members’ annual contribution with a £1.72million contribution in 2012, an increase from £1.32million in 2011.
Commenting on the report, Jasper Hope, Chief Operating Officer at the Royal Albert Hall said:
“As a financially independent charity, with no government funding, our commercial success is vital to fulfil Prince Albert’s legacy for the Hall to be Britain’s primary arts and entertainment venue and contribute to his charitable aims, offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience for customers and an opportunity for artists to add their own chapter to our unrivalled history of performance, as well as continuing to play an important role in the cultural life of the UK.”
The Royal Albert Hall is committed to enhancing and maintaining the much-loved, Grade I listed Victorian building for future generations as part of its contribution to the national benefit as well as improving public access. Over and above the day- to-day building and operational costs that come from the operating income, £3.96 million (up from £2.43 million in 2011) of the operating surplus has been set aside for the Hall’s Building Development Fund, the Hall’s own financial commitment to its 5-year development plans which include extensive backstage refurbishment and installation of energy efficient systems to replace the current Victorian heating system. £1.84million was invested in special building projects, one clear example being the recent renovation of Hall’s South entrance which opened to the public on Friday 31 May 2013. The new space, now renamed The Zvi and Ofra Meitar Porch and Foyer, connects the ground ‘Amphi’ corridor to form a full circle for the first time. It includes an up to date Box Office, retail outlet and new Café Bar, open seven days a week. It is designed to offer greater access to the public during the day, even to those not necessarily coming to a show, to soak up the atmosphere of the venue and enjoy its tours and free exhibitions and archives.
As part of the Hall’s public benefit objectives, the venue’s education and outreach programme reached over 100,000 participants in 2012 providing events and workshops to the wider community. These included songwriting masterclasses from artists such as Emeli Sande and Milos, and interactive schools and family tours of the building. Funds were also invested in partners such as Music for Youth and Dance Proms, which both presented their annual concerts at the venue, all part of the Hall’s mission to encourage and champion music and dance participation and give access to those who would not normally visit the Hall. Money generated also funded the venue’s More At The Hall events, which saw over 200 diverse low-ticket priced or free events outside of its main auditorium.
In 2012, the Hall also supported 41 other charities to help raise funds for important causes such as Teenage Cancer Trust and CLIC Sargent, with the Hall investing funds from its operating surplus into these worthy organisations so that each one received a 20% discount on hire fees, as well as providing the venue free of charge to the Royal Choral Society for its 140th anniversary, its annual free let.
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Note to editors:
Royal Albert Hall:
The Royal Albert Hall is the world’s most famous stage. Its breathtaking auditorium hosts over 370 shows a year by the world’s greatest artists. The magical atmosphere combined with inspired artists creates legendary events.
Opened in 1871 as part of Prince Albert’s vision for a centre for the Arts and Sciences, the Hall is a registered charity which operates without public funding, remaining true to his founding ambitions within a modern context. Extending the brand with 200 events outside the auditorium, the Hall has broadened its appeal to younger, diverse audiences whilst still engaging its existing customers.
The Hall also offers the Elgar Room, a state-of-the-art small-scale performance space which hosts performances of classical music, jazz and world music, comedy, dance and hush, a series of gigs for just signed bands throughout the year. In the main auditorium, it offers the Albert Sessions, an initiative that encourages up and coming acts to play at the Hall by offering reduced rental fees to promoters and lower ticket prices to encourage younger audiences to visit the Hall. It also works extensively with schools, young people, disadvantaged groups and partners such as Music For Youth through its Education programme, reaching over 100,000 participants each year as part of its extensive public benefit remit. It has also been appointed by the Arts Council as one of the country’s regional music education hubs.
For more information, please visit www.royalalberthall.com
Registered charity number: 254543