“SIGNIFICANT DOUBT” CAST ON PIER PAVILION COMPANY’S “ABILITY TO CONTINUE”

The Penarth Arts and Crafts board meets in the room with the curved glass window on the 2nd floor

Yet more board directors have now left the troubled not-for-profit company Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd –  which holds a 125-year lease on Penarth Pier Pavilion – and there is “significant doubt” as to whether it can keep going.

The company’s latest set of accounts, for the year ending December 31st 2017, have just been published and –  yet again – show the financial position of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd (a.k.a. PACL) is a mess.

Julia Mortimer of Watts Gregory undertook the independent examination of PACL’s accounts

Julia Mortimer -the independent examiner who’s checked out the accounts – says in effect that the only reason the Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd‘s accounts  show an apparent  “surplus for the year of £41, 275 is because the company is owed the sum of £155,358 by its own trading subsidiary – a firm called Penarth Pier Pavilion Ltd.

….BUT the snag is that Penarth Pier Pavilion Ltd had “net liabilities of £174,293” (as at December 31 2017) .

In a no-punches-pulled statement on the 2017 accounts Ms Mortimer says These conditions indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the charity’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

The Independent Examiner’s statement on the latest PACL accounts

Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd’s  total income for 2017 was £214,521 (an improvement on the income of £157,594 in 2016)  – and total expenditure was £173,246  – producing a “surplus” of £41,275 … but because that wholly owned subsidiary, Penarth Pier Pavilion Ltd, is  £174,293 in debt  – the overall position is negative.

The “Report of the Trustees” for 2017 – wasn’t signed-off by then chairman Professor Tony Hazell (who’s now quit the company) until September 26th 2018. In it Professor Hazell says ( ludicrously in the circumstances) the “key objective” of the company will be to attain a self-sustaining funding position by December 2018” .

Meanwhile yet more directors have bailed-out of boardroom of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd – including Professor Hazell himself:-

  • Professor Anthony Hazell quit as chairman in August – and has now resigned as a director as well.

    Professor Tony Hazell – who resigned as chairman last month – has now also relinquished his place as a director on the board and is therefore no longer an officer of the company. (PDN reported the appointment of an “interim chairman”Dr Daniel Antebi  last week. Dr Antebi has  been on the board for barely a month).

  • Also gone from the board is former senior civil servant David Jonathan Lewis Jones who resigned with effect from 30 September 2018.
  • Another director  vacating the board room table is Paul Roger Cantrill .

In the last 20 years – out of 56 people who at various times have been appointed as directors of Penarth Arts and Crafts, a total of 47 have of them have departed.

Meanwhile 2 new appointments have been made to the board:

  • Mrs Nerida Palser has been appointed as director as of 1 October 2018. Mrs Palser is a director of the executive air taxi service Dragonfly Aviation which was founded by her husband, the well-known solicitor and aviator Howard Palser. She is also a director of Palser Family Investments Ltd .
  • Mrs Marta Lithgow, the newly-appopinted salaried manager of  Penarth Pier Pavilion, has been appointed company secretary as from  26 September 2018.

The Penarth Pier Pavilion was leased to Penarth Arts and Crafts in 2012 by its landlord and owner, the Vale of Glamorgan Council. That lease has a duration of 125 years.

Vale Cllr Ben Gray (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) Deputy Leader of Penarth Town Council

Penarth Arts and Crafts still has two members on its board representing – respectively –   Penarth Town Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council. They are Deputy Leader of Penarth Town Council Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) and Vale member Cllr Ben Gray (Conservative Plymouth Ward)  .

Customarily, the  councillor representing Penarth Town Council on the board of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd has  given  regular updates on the position of the company to the full council. Those reports are then minuted and should therefore available to the council-tax payers of Penarth

…However, even though three years ago Cllr Cuddy appointed himself to the board of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd, and is ostensibly there to represent the people of Penarth,  he is yet to deliver a report on the financial position of the Penarth Arts and Crafts to the council or to the residents of Penarth.

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19 Responses to “SIGNIFICANT DOUBT” CAST ON PIER PAVILION COMPANY’S “ABILITY TO CONTINUE”

  1. Big Davey says:

    No wonder Hazel resigned. I guess he hopes to avoid any claims against him as a director by the PACL creditors. it doesn’t work like that. They can come after him if they believe he was responsible even having left the board.

    I wish Penarth Pavilion team now the very best and hope they can turn this shameful disaster around.

    Perhaps opening the cinema, marketing it and selling some tickets might have helped the Pavilion wash its face.

  2. Helpful Penarthian says:

    I can’t believe that the Pavilion management can’t get their act together. Isn’t time that the team are more imaginative with the offering that is being offered. Most of the time there is nothing on, and even when there is it’s not advertised.

    Here are two opportunities that will turn the business around:

    1. Put a program of events on that are revenue generating. Open mike nights, entertainment.

    2. Open a bar, how about a Prosecco Or Gin bar. Penarth Seafront is crying out for a bar.

    Anyone have a better idea?

    • Big Davey says:

      Add some live music, talks, cinema of unusual fair, food and drinks fairs, art and craft shows, stuff for kids, matinee viewings, a bit of welsh tapas and welsh cakes, hire out for corp venue, team up with Waverly or other commercial boats to do regular trips and events, a useful web site with a weather station and tide times, promotions for the commercial retailers e.g. the old sweet shop, pizzerias and chippie, bring and swaps of plants or brick a brack, music on the pier itself with bar at pavilion, drone racing, on the pier, team up with the Vale college for catering training or Cardiff Prison for rehabilitation, cooking lessons on site, Penarth Master chef competition, son et lumiere performances, fireworks competitions., welsh nat opera performances or cardiff performing arts etc….. the list is endless but the imagination is not with PACL.

      • penarthblog says:

        A lot of your suggestions would be well supported I suspect.

      • Helpful Penarthian says:

        Fabulous that there are others who can see the potential, however suggestions are only ideas, it’s now for the Pavilion management to implement them. If they can’t make a go of it, let someone else come in and make success of it.

  3. Matinee screenings with free tea, coffee and biscuits return to the pavilion on Thursday at 2pm. Hopefully they’ll be as popular as they used to be as we want to make them a regular feature of our programme.

    • Helpful Penarthian says:

      who is it at the Pavilion who let’s everyone know this and other events are happening. How do you find out about these events?

      • To keep up to date with the cinema programme, you can sign up for email updates either through our website. We send out a couple of emails a month with our listings and announcements. There’s a Pavilion email list that would let you get news about the other events on there too.

        We post the details of our cinema programme online – our website has a full listings page, as does the Pavilion’s What’s On section, we also promote via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

        For those without social media accounts, or regular internet access, our listings are included in the Penarth Times pretty much every week, and we have posters around Penarth in all of the shops that allow them to be put up. There’s an A-board outside the Pavilion with the full cinema line-up on it. We have flyers at the Pavilion and, this month we will also have these available in other places around the town.

      • Just realised there’s a spurious ‘either’ in my reply – oops

  4. Po says:

    The Snowcat cinema is great, but as usual there is rubbish transport to and from the pier, esp in the evening, and nowhere to enjoy a bite to eat or drink before or after. It could all be provided in thenoavikion which is a fantastic resource. I had friends down feom england who couldn’t believe the space and resources there – and really couldn’t believe how little was going on.

  5. mikeyorke says:

    Stop prolonging this farce. Leave now and throw the keys through the letter box for someone else to take over and make a success of the Pier that it rightfully deserves.

    Please, just go now. Walk away. Summer will be back before we know it so let’s get it sorted before then.

  6. Andrew Jones says:

    Oops. Has Mr Rive slipped up there by admitting that the cinema screenings in the afternoons pre closure were POPULAR?.. since Mr Hazell allowed him to rent the now defunct cinema a few nights a month to show his old films he has stuck to the PACL line that the cinema isn’t viable. No surprise at the financial mess at the Pavilion . Will be worse in next accounts without the BLF grant to shore them up. The sooner PACL vacate the better and Chapter come in the better.

    It comes to something when Dines Powis parish hall and All Saints Church Hall show newer films than the state of the art digital cinema on the Pier. Meanwhile we are asked to pay £8.50 to watch The Devil Wears Prada on the Pier..a film that’s on Film 4 virtually every week. Ridiculous situation

    • Andrew, we will never see eye-to-eye over the cinema – that’s not something I can resolve. I’m not willing to get into a tit-for-tat argument about the incorrect content of your response here.

      Thankfully there are many people in Penarth who support the positive action we’ve taken to put the cinema back in use and they’re coming along to enjoy films on the pier.

      • Andrew Jones says:

        Ben, you misunderstand again. Not suggesting that your pop up is not successful and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be. There is no reason why it should not continue to operate alongside reinstating the full film programme at the Pavilion. They should both operate side by side to give Penarth residents the best cinema viewing choice in one of Wales’s most modern auditoriums. Surely you cannot find anything to disagree with about this???

  7. Thanks for the condescending reply Andrew. You’ve simply made different statements to the ones in your earlier response. I’m not getting into this with you.

    • Andrew Jones says:

      Would you care to clarify for PDN readers what my inconsistent statements are on this matter? That’s news to me as I have always held a consistent view on the cinema and Snowcat

  8. I did not claim that you made ‘inconsistent statements’. There is, however, ‘iincorrect content’ in your post.

    As per my previous messages, I’ve stated that I don’t want to get into this here – it’s embarrassing for everyone.

  9. Penarthlady says:

    It’s a shame the cinema doesn’t show the latest films, as an ordinary paying customer (in my 50’s) I would only use the cinema for special occasions but not to see films that I can see online for much less, Netflix etc. However my teenage children use the cinema regularly, it’s an evening out with friends that doesn’t involve hanging around the streets! At the moment they have to travel to Cardiff but it would be great if they could walk to the cinema have something to eat and watch films locally. Looking at cinema statistics the biggest audience age group is 15-24 year olds which makes sense, they need places to go for entertainment/meeting friends and also they are more likely to be in the ‘dating’ stage. The older teens and twenties have more disposable income and therefore would be more regular users.

    The next age group is the younger children who are obviously taken to the cinema as a treat, therefore if the Penarth cinema really wants to draw in customers and make profit they need to show up to date films and advertise effectively so that these age ranges see what’s on offer. If the cinema carries on targeting the minority rather than the majority I can’t see it going anywhere.

    All the other ideas from Big Davey sound great but again advertising what’s on needs to be sorted, at the moment the only time I hear about Penarth Pier Pavilion is when news articles like this one are on PDN.

    • Helpful Penarthian says:

      It’s not just about the cinema that has been organised but about the wider choice that needs to be offered to make the Pavilion sustainable. I notice that a gin bar is to open in Penarth, why is it that the management could not have anticipated the opportunities that are staining them in the face? Such a pity.

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