Statement from Managing Director, Dave Jenkins
I wanted to take this opportunity to address some of the concerns that have been raised as a result of the announcement that the venues will be going cashless this month. I also wanted to reassure everyone that we have not taken the decision lightly – and most importantly without adequate consultation.
Speaking from personal experience, I’m one of those people who historically would not have been comfortable going out for a night out without having a specific amount of cash in my pocket for an enjoyable night out and getting home safely. So, when we had internal and external discussions on the matter, I made sure that everyone was aware of this way of thinking and any barriers that can be put up for a number of reasons when cash is excluded from a venue.
To illustrate the reasons why this was a consideration to discuss with our Executive Board is quite simple – cash is very expensive to manage:
In addition, it is also worth noting that we are also experiencing the most significant series of inflationary increases across the board from our food and drink suppliers to our energy bills and general overheads in maintaining large venues. In terms of managing these increased costs we have very little option but to pass the inflationary increases onto the general public. However, making significant savings like this allow us to absorb some of the inflation and reduce price increases. We strongly believe that this route minimises financial barriers being worsened.
As a non-profit organisation we are accountable to all of you and the assets that we are custodians of belong to the community – I hope that it is understood and that our main aim is to secure the long-term viability of these assets. Whilst we understand that this change isn’t ideal, it comes from a robust assessment of what is genuinely in the best interests of the Art Centre – in what is still an extremely challenging time across the sector.
We can’t get it right all the time, but I do hope that this reassures you that this decision, like everything we decide, is coming from a good place and is designed to benefit arts, culture and our community.
Finally, if there is anyone who feels directly affected with the change and solution and feels they would like to discuss it further, myself or one of my colleagues would be more than happy to have further conversations and see what we can do to help.
From Tuesday 1st March 2022 we are joining a long list of businesses by only accepting card payments across all our venues. This means we will no longer accept cash payments at our Box Office or any of our bars, restaurants, and cafes.
We understand this may be an inconvenience for some, however, we haven’t taken the decision lightly. We reached this decision with careful consideration and based on years of discussions, research, statistics, and the measures we had to put in place during the pandemic to minimise the risk to staff and audience.
Why are we going cashless?
• To help us reduce the cost of handling cash in both fees and staff time.
• We prefer not to keep cash onsite, minimising the security risk to our staff and building.
• We have invested time, money, technology, equipment, and resources in moving towards a cashless venue to help minimise health, safety, and hygiene risks during and post pandemic.
• There has been huge decrease in cash payments over the last few years, and COVID and the pandemic has brought our decision to go cashless, forward.
• We are moving towards a cashless society and so will be joining a long list of places only accepting card payments.
The time and money it takes, and costs for us to handle cash, we feel would be better spent on our community focused and artistic work.
Exceptions: When we can accept cash:
There will be some occasions (few and far between) when we can accept cash payments, including:
1. We would only resort to accepting cash payments if our systems (technology and equipment) go down and the card machines are out of order.