Cllr Andrew Speed calls for The Apex in Bury St Edmunds to be redesigned
A councillor has called for The Apex in Bury St Edmunds to be redesigned after he branded it ‘not fit for purpose’.
Broaching the subject at St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s overview and scrutiny committee last week, Cllr Andrew Speed said that the venue’s current seating capacity of 500 would continue to hold it back as years go on.
“The success of The Apex has been brilliant but I think we shouldn’t just accept that we’re not always going to be in this level of deficit,” he said.
“I think we should re-design to increase capacity to let us hold bigger events because as it stands now it’s not fit for purpose.
“The Apex design is poor and it doesn’t do the job that we want it to do in the future.”
The annual report on leisure and culture, presented by cabinet member Cllr Joanna Rayner, marked plans to decrease the council’s annual budget for The Apex and encourage it to become more self-sufficient.
He said that in order to do this, the venue would have to have space for larger audiences of around 1,000.
But Cllr Joanna Rayner, cabinet member for leisure and culture who presented the report, said that this wasn’t an option.
“We did do some work around extra seating and what we can get in for the prices. It’s difficult but I think we need to work it out and have another look to try and make that bigger,” she said.
“We’re not going to get it to a 1,000 seat venue as there’s no space for that. But let’s look at it and definitely take it forward.”
Cllr Paul Hopfensperger added that another way to increase revenue from The Apex could be to sell merchandise such as mugs and stickers.
“People buy these things to show they’ve been to The Apex. I think it’s something we should think about,” he said.
He added: “There are also big spaces there that we could use and we’re not. The upstairs gallery could even be used for kids’ discos or something like that. I think things like that would do well.”
While Cllr Rayner disagreed with Cllr Speed’s analysis of the venue as ‘not fit for purpose’, she did agree that more should be done to allow the venue to reach its full potential.
“I hadn’t thought of discos and things so there’s definitely more that we can do,” she said.