Substantial Loss At Pembrokeshire Fish Week 2011

14 Sep

Following quite a few posts during the summer on Pembrokeshire Fish Week, a producer has kindly sent through to me a cutting taken from the Western Telegraph, dated 14th January I think. I’ve posted this in full below, which I’m sure you’ll find interesting: The annual Pembrokeshire Fish Week open day hosted in Milford Haven ran at a substantial loss last year, 2011. Expenditure of running the open day on the Milford Marina last year topped £27,315 and income totalled £16,325, an overall shortfall of £10,990. In a letter to Milford Haven Town Council, the county council’s food development manager, Kate Morgan, said the £2 entry charge introduced for the first time in 2011 was a way of assisting in the shortfall caused by the ending of European funding. Ms Morgan wrote: “An entry charge is something that we have always anticipated would be necessary to introduce at some point to enable delivery of the Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival, but have avoided doing so for as long as possible.” Ms Morgan said that with no European funding organisers are now exploring avenues of funding, sponsorship and income to allow them to continue delivering the popular event. In 2011 approximately 12,000 people attended the opening day despite bad weather and the introduction of an entry fee. Over the festival week events across the county attracted a total of about 25,000 people, with more than a third visiting from outside west Wales – bringing just over £1.3m direct income into the economy. Ms Morgan concluded her letter by asking the town council to consider increasing its financial support for the festival, above the £200 it already annually donate. On Tuesday night the finance and general purpose committee recommended increasing its donation from £200 to £300 – a decision which will now go forward to full council for debate.

Well I find this newspaper article interesting, as I didn’t think all the Fish Week events were ticketed, unless that has now been altered. So if evry even is not ticketed, how can an a total attendance figure of 25,000 people be arrived at? I’m also puzzled that it was stated that a third of visitors were from outside west Wales. In 2010 when I went to Saundersfoot on the last day of Fish Week , I did approach some t-shirted people who were holding clip boards, curious to find out what they were doing! Well they they were supposed to be doing survey about Fish Week, but this team didn’t approach everyone around the Harbour, which would have been impossible, so I’m not clear about the accuracy of a 1/3 of visitors from outside west Wales. Of course the Welsh culture is that councils and governments have to have these types of figures to ‘tick their boxes’ but I’m only interested in figures if they are accurate and not guesstimates.

The funding quoted is also interesting and the figures I have certainly disagree with those published in the Western Telegraph cutting, but I’m sure that the WT did not make those figures up and printed in good faith.

When I asked questions about Fish Week Funding Pembrokeshire County Council told me that in 2011 Fish Week got grant funding of £55,636 from outside sources and £30,711 in support direct from the Council.

For this year (2012) I’ve shown below the two statements I received from wag in response to my many questions about Fish Week.

Spokesman for the Welsh Government said, “This year, Pembrokeshire Fish Week secured funding from our Major Events Unit as well as from our Food Festival Grant. The support from the Major Events Unit will help the festival to grow in profile and quality. The support from the Major Events Unit will help the festival to grow in profile and quality. Food Festival Grant funding is associated to Food Related costs only.

The First Minister has agreed to provide financial support up to a maximum of £75,000, for three years (2012-2014 inclusive) to support Pembrokeshire Fish Week. The First Minister has been asked to agree Welsh Government financial support for Pembrokeshire Fish Week in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

I’m horrified that a food festival alone can receive the massive sum of £31,671 from the Welsh Government food festival budget for just a one day festival, when this money is taken from an ever shrinking budget. Fish Week then also got money from the Major Events Unit too!!!! But lucky Fish Week, they have now had reassurance and full support for their financial plight from the First Minister, who has authorised financial, support of up to a maximum of £75k for the next three years.


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  1. Producer

    September 14, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I may be being totally thick here, but if 12000 people paying £2 each, plus the 40 or so stalls paying a minimum of £35 comes to over £38000, how come the income was £16000?

  2. Jules Rutter

    September 18, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Seems like a great way of pump priming the Pembrokeshire economy to me.- £55k out £1.3m in – do the sums.
    Surely you understand the concept of sampling when doing surveys?
    And surely you know that its not a one day festival?
    Whats your beef? (Vegetarian options also available)

  3. admin

    September 18, 2012 at 8:40 am

    My beef, as you put it is that the £31,671 came out of the ever shrinking food festival budget. The purpose of the food festival budget is to fund a food festival – which was one day at Milford.
    I didn’t realise that the food festival budget was there to pump up the Pembrokeshire economy – but if you are from Pembrokeshire I can understand your bias.