Chichester Cathedral faces ‘significant financial challenges’ despite its property portfolio rising by £4.5million in value.
The accounts for the tax year 2017/2018, published on the cathedral’s website this week, noted the cathedral was ‘operationally in deficit’ as of March this year.
Particular losses included Chichester Cathedral Enterprise Ltd (CCEL), which runs the Cloisters shop and café, Box Office, Vicar’s Hall and 4 Canon Lane.
Overall, CCEL saw a loss of £55,994, after a drop in revenue of £109,000 year on year, resulting in some staff members being made redundant.
A summary of the cathedral’s financial forecast read: “There remain significant financial challenges going forward.
“Putting aside non-operational unrealized gains which come from a capital growth in its assets, then the cathedral is operationally in deficit, only achieving breakeven through gifts, donations, and legacies to Restricted and Endowment Funds.
“The Chapter is focusing on increasing both the cathedral’s income and also the utilisation of its existing portfolio of investments and properties.
“The cathedral is actively reviewing working practices and processes to ensure the efficient and effective control of all expenditures, in addition the restructure of the Enterprises business remains a top priority.”
It comes as the cathedral continues a fundraising drive to complete a £5.8million re-roofing project. The appeal, launched in February, has to date had more than £3.3million in donations and grants.
Income from donations and legacies amounted to nearly £1.37million as of March 31 this year, just over half of which was to the Cathedral Restoration and Development Trust. Expenditure on raising funds for the same year was listed as costing £1.5million.
The cathedral’s property investments and assets were £35.5million but its ‘cash in hand at bank’ was £907,753.
‘Free’ reserves of £1.17million are also held to serve as a buffer against unexpected expenditure, based on three months’ worth of spending at around £400,000.
The full accounts and accompanying annual report are available to view at www.chichestercathedral.org.uk.