The Guernsey Community Foundation (the Foundation) has given St James £25,000 to meet its operational costs and promised the charity further support in 2024, when it will underwrite certain costs.
St James provides the Island with a unique and versatile venue for concerts and events which cover a broad range of interests. As well as being a much-loved destination for residents and visitors alike, it functions as a centre for the business community.
Jon Bisson, executive director of St James, said that, like much of the hospitality sector post-Covid, St James had suffered from lower ticket sales and had been forced to use its reserves.
“This was a huge shame after the very successful expansion in 2019,” he said. “We recognised the need to see where trading levels would settle in this new environment.”
“There is no doubt that St James is an important resource to the island’s population, and its loss would be felt by the over 40 charities it supports and the 40,000 people who attended events in the last year.”
2023 and 2024 will see the implementation of a number of changes that Mr Bisson hopes will secure the venue’s future.
“The breathing space afforded by the Foundation’s underwrite allows us to launch these new policies and let them develop while the world around us settles into its new norm,” said Mr Bisson.
Jim Roberts, chief executive of the Foundation, said that securing St James’ immediate future was in the island’s interest. “As well as being a treasured venue which plays host to a wide range of performers, St James is a vital resource for dozens of charities and community organisations, many of whom use its facilities at a reduced rate. The Foundation is happy to assist in a way which gives Mr Bisson time to put into practice ambitious plans to make St James more sustainable by attracting larger audiences and corporate customers.”
The Foundation’s Grants Programme gives over £250,000 a year to charities. Applications, which should be for a minimum of £5,000, are accepted all year round. More details, including an application form, can be found on www.foundation.gg. For more information, email email@example.com or call the Foundation on 259523.