A SNAPSHOT of the Glasshouse’s first three years shows the centre is more than an art gallery and theatre.
More than 870,000 people have visited the Clarence Street centre and 1000 events have taken place there in performances, conferences, exhibitions, product launches and meetings. There have been weddings and graduations, too.
The team is committed to getting even more people through the doors and increasing the centre’s income. Port Macquarie-Hastings Council community and cultural development director Lesley Atkinson said the Glasshouse would continue to be reviewed and, as it was a new business, the council still needed to keep in mind whether the operational model was the right one.
She said the next three to four years would be about building the commercial component to reduce the burden on the community and engaging with the community so the facility was well and truly embraced by all community sectors.
The centre generated $1.5 million in income during the last financial year and had $4.8 million in expenses.
That brought its operational costs to $3.3 million, plus there was $3 million for loans and overheads over the same period.
Ms Atkinson said the way forward was to contain the operational costs and increase the income stream.
Information collected about the types of shows and acts, which were well supported and generated income, will enable the council to pepper more of those throughout the year, for example.
The 33-page third anniversary report contains a host of statistics.
The Glasshouse Regional Gallery presented 71 exhibitions over the past three years and artists from the Hastings have not missed out either.
More than 125 artists from the area have featured in more than 25 exhibitions.
The gallery exhibitions have attracted about 182,000 people over the past three years. Meanwhile, cultural appreciation has also been nurtured in young people with almost 17,000 students embracing the centre’s education program over the same timeframe.
Holidaymakers have also flocked to the Visitor Information Centre, which relocated to the Glasshouse in 2009.
Some $2.18 million in accommodation and tours have been booked through the Visitor Information Centre and staff have handled 56,719 tourism-related phone inquiries.
Gift shop sales have increased each year.
The council provided a range of cultural services, with a budget of $1.8 million, before the Glasshouse opened, which are now delivered through the centre.
Copies of the third anniversary report are available to download from the Glasshouse and council websites and hard copies are available at libraries and council offices. The councillor contingent was sacked in 2008 over its handling of the Glasshouse project.