Box office services for the Harrogate International Centre (HIC) and two other entertainment venues in the town have been consolidated in a drive to save £200,000 a year in operating costs.
Ticket sales for the HIC, Harrogate Theatre and the Royal Hall will now be handled by the theatre’s box office.
The HIC box office, which sold tickets for the conference centre and the Royal Hall, cost nearly £250,000 to operate in the last financial year, whereas the new consolidated service is expected to cost less than £67,000 for 2011-12, while also providing longer opening hours and reduced booking fees.
No job losses are expected on top of the 38 posts already shed at the HIC to cut costs.
Harrogate Council leader and Chairman of the HIC Board, Don Mackenzie, claimed that the move would help the district’s tourism industry, which brings in an estimated £331m a year to the local economy.
“It is not simply about saving taxpayers money, this is also about enhancing the experience for people who are planning to come and see shows and events in Harrogate,” Mackenzie said.
The local press has reported plans have been drawn up to slash the Royal Hall’s running costs by appointing a private company to oversee the building.
The Royal Hall had a net operating loss of £364,561 during the last financial year.
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