Christchurch Arts Centre burdened by mounting insurance costs

Christchurch Arts Centre burdened by mounting insurance costs | Insurance Business

Christchurch Arts Centre burdened by mounting insurance costs

Rising insurance costs have reportedly triggered plans for drastic cuts for the Christchurch Arts Centre. However, these cuts may not be enough to meet the cultural centre’s annual deficit of $1.5 million.

The centre has notified the city council that it could close within the next year-and-a-half if it is unable to secure public funding, Stuff reported. According to the centre’s chief executive Philip Aldridge, the centre is using the interest from its $164 million insurance payout to cover the budget deficit, but that source may soon run out as restoration works continue.

Aldridge revealed that the centre’s insurance costs have risen by 400% since the 2011 earthquakes, which heavily damaged the complex. He said that annual insurance premiums reach $500,000, with 15 of the complex’s 23 buildings, roughly half its total floor area, having reopened.

Meanwhile, the salary bill for its almost 40 full-time staff and senior management was at $1.8 million for 2019.

The Christchurch Arts Centre, which is the largest collection of heritage buildings in the country, is run by a non-profit trust and does not receive public funding, unlike the Canterbury Museum and Christchurch Art Gallery.

Aldridge said that the city council subsidises each visit to the Christchurch Art Gallery by $26.

“If we got just a fraction of that, it would keep us alive,” he said.