Alnwick Garden Trust reports another loss, despite progress with charitable objectives

Sharitable company says economic conditions and a growing number of applications are making fundraising harder

The Duchess of Northumberland checks out the new sculptures in Alnwick Garden, with artist David Watkinson
The Duchess of Northumberland checks out the new sculptures in Alnwick Garden, with artist David Watkinson

The Alnwick Garden Trust has reduced losses and said it was making significant progress on its six charitable objectives.

The trust reported a net loss of £331,950 for the year ended March 31 - down from £406,000 the previous year - and said it had promoted skills and lifelong learning, maintained projects to encourage people to think differently about disability and enabled experience of the arts.

The Garden has had more than 4m visitors the Garden since 2003 - more than half from outside the North East - and employs more than 200 people on full-time, part-time and seasonal temporary contracts.

Chairman of the trustees, Prof Jonathan Blackie said: “It was another good year for The Alnwick Garden. We welcomed over 330,000 visitors. Over 4m paying visitors have crossed the threshold since 2003. I am particularly pleased to see that our Friends increased from 3,000 to over 8,000 in the year.”

During the year, admissions income totalled £1.39m, compared to £1.61m the year before. Fundraising activity generated £819,123, down from £1.12m in 2012/13, and trading activity after allocation of costs rose from £207,298 to £426,026.

The report said: “In addition to loans provided by The Northumberland Estates, grants and donations were received from Friends, private individuals, trusts and corporate donors.

“Fundraising in general is increasingly difficult on account of both economic conditions and sources of funding having fewer resources, as well as a higher number of applications.”

The vision for the Garden is to ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience, explore, consider and value their natural and cultural environment.

The trust, a charitable company, said it remained committed to completed the development of The Alnwick Garden, with the final stage - phase three - to include five further themed gardens, a treehouse adventure play areas, a water tower feature and more.

Prof Blackie paid tribute to the Duchess of Northumberland, saying: “Her vision, drive and commitment is at the heart of the success of the Alnwick Garden.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer