Tilgate Park falls short of financial target
TILGATE nature centre managed to attract 60,000 paying customers in four months despite the atrocious weather which made this summer the worst for a century.
But the wash-out contributed to Tilgate Park missing its financial income target for the year by an estimated £50,000.
Crawley Borough Council had set an income target of £150,000 for the nature centre, park attractions and car parking, but a budget monitoring report put before the performance monitoring scrutiny panel on Tuesday (September 18) stated that only £75,000 had been raised.
With only a couple of months of the charging season left, an over all shortfall of £50,000 is expected. Add to this the £40,000 lost due to the huge drop in people making donations to the nature centre and that shortfall rises to £90,000.
But, given that some 60,000 visitors paid to enter the nature centre up to the end of August, the council is confident that numbers will increase next year.
A council spokesman said: “Given the appalling weather, visitor numbers held up well – more than 60,000 visitors in four months. The overwhelming feedback from visitors has been that a family day out in the nature is very good value for money.
“The council will review performance over the coming months, but with new attractions such as Go Ape, further investment in the nature centre and catering all planned for spring 2013 we are confident that we can build on this year’s achievements.”
The council received two national non-domestic rates refunds (NNDR) this year. One, for £44,000, related to the operations of the park’s car parks and will be used to help offset this year’s financial under-achievement.
The second, for £32,000, related to the Millpond Adventure Playground, in Bewbush, following overpayments during the previous five years.
The spokesman confirmed that the council planned to invest more than £200,000 in the town’s four adventure playgrounds over the next three years.
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Weather for Crawley
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North east