Apex ticket sales income tops £1m

The Apex in the arc, Bury St Edmunds ANL-141021-143616001
The Apex in the arc, Bury St Edmunds ANL-141021-143616001
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For the first time income from ticket sales at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds has topped £1 million - up 42 per cent on last year.

The number of tickets sold has also leapt up by 34 per cent to 63,011, of which 12,431 were new customers.

This financial boost, accredited to an improved programme and effective marketing, resulted in the venue coming in at almost £75,000 under budget for 2014/15.

A report for St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s audit and scrutiny committee said the Apex is continuing to ‘develop as an important local and regional venue and is attracting greater audiences and establishing a loyal customer base’.

Cllr Joanna Rayner, borough council cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage, said: “What these figures really show is a fantastic team behind the scenes. A 42 per cent increase in ticket sales in just one year is simply staggering.”

The borough council reduced the Apex budget from £742,250 in 2013/14 to £671,840 in 2014/15, however a total figure of £597,108 for the most recent period means it has come in £74,732 under budget.

More good news came for the Apex events programme, up from 270 events in 2013/14 to 302 in 2014/15.

The committee report said a ‘consequence of the Apex’s growing reputation’ was its ability to ‘attract higher quality acts’.

Cllr Rayner said: “Its acoustic excellent has never been in doubt but its growing army of fans, which includes many repeat customers, means that the Apex is now able to attract higher quality acts as part of national tours.”

Social media continues to play a prominent role in the venue’s popularity, with customer activity on average doubling since last year.

Sessions on its own website have risen by 80 per cent, topping 65,000 in March this year, with page views at around 150,000 per month.

Customer satisfaction is also at a high, with mystery shopping surveys carried out by the Apex box office and Tourist Information Centre (TIC) during February and March scoring customer service at between 95 and 100 per cent.

The Apex budget for 2015/16 has been set at £639,431, accommodating increased service and insurance charges and equipment replacement.

However, the committee report anticipates the venue will come in under budget again if its positive performance continues, forecasting ticket sales will rise by 15 per cent to £1.15 million.

The report will be presented to the audit and scrutiny committee at its meeting on Thursday, July 30.