Admittedly it’s not quite the White House, or the West Wing, but it seems that West House (Penarth Town Council’s HQ in Stanwell Road) has failed to catch-on as a popular venue for holding civil weddings
In 2013 the town council had applied for a licence to hold civil weddings in West House with a view boosting income for the council.
The entrance hall and council chamber were re-decorated and new seating installed. The mayor’s parlour at the front of the premises was also re-vamped with a view to becoming the “main” wedding venue.
But since then, the number of wedding bookings at West House hasn’t been as high as the council might have wished. The town’s Leisure and Amenities Committee has been told the total of income for 2015/16 was only £1,326.68 which is nearly £1,000 less than the council received for wedding bookings at the Kymin.
The 90-minute wedding slots at West House are charged for at the rate for £150 each from Monday to Thursday whilst Friday and Saturday slots are charged at £170. Additional hours are charged at £100 per hour.
The Mayor Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) told the committee “There are so many [wedding] venues now it’s ubiquitous really. It’s difficult that we don’t get a bit of demand each month isn’t it?”
The Town Clerk Emma Smith said she had been carrying out some research and had found that there were now a number of websites on the internet which might help the council publicise its service.
One such site- she said – is called “Hitch.com“, which didn’t as yet have any Penarth venues on it, and which offered very favourable rates. It was only necessary to secure one booking a year to cover the costs involved . The other Vale venues on this site secured a total of 19 hits a year.
The council’s weddings service is already publicised on the council’s own website.