NMEC moots slashing marketing budget

The NMEC, which runs the Millennium Dome, is considering slashing the attraction’s marketing budget by up to two-thirds, or some &£2.3m, over the next three months in the quest for cost savings.

According to a report by accountants PriceWaterhouseCoopers into the Dome’s finances commissioned by its new chairman David James, marketing is one area where significant cost savings can be made. The attraction is receiving a further lottery hand-out of &£47m to see it through to the end of the year.

The marketing spend for July and August comes to &£2.9m, leaving a further &£3.6m of the budget, says the report. Of this, &£300,000 has already been committed.

The sales and marketing department – headed by marketing director Sholto Douglas-Home – says the minimum spend it needs is &£1.3m, though a “sensible requirement” would be &£2.2m. The report, compiled in mid-August, concludes that this could lead to savings on the marketing budget of between &£1.4m and &£2.3m.

An NMEC spokesman says: “No decisions have been taken on this yet. The PWC comments are being taken into account over the planning, which continues.”

Last week, Douglas-Home said the prospect of the Dome’s closure could boost ticket sales (MW last week).

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