Central Hall Westminster recorded its highest ever turnover during the year 2018, at £7.8 million.
As a result, it has promised to increase charitable funding to £1.7m per year. This will represent a 21% rise in donations to charity by 2020.
The central London venue’s 2018 Annual Review reveals that the record turnover has been boosted by a 37% increase in high-profile concerts held in its historic Great Hall.
This included the Royal Armouries’ concert to mark the end of the hostilities in the First World War, attended by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Other high-profile concerts included UNICEF’s Christmas Carol concert featuring Jessie Ware which raised money for children in Syria, Katie Melua’s London leg of her World Tour, and 80s pop band Madness broadcasting live from the venue on BBC One for New Years.
The number of conferences held in 2018 also increased by 31%, with clients including Deloitte, Shell, The Guardian and The Jamaican National Bank. Additionally, the venue held six exhibitions throughout the year, including the 13th Annual BNC Show for the second year running.
One of the highest profile events in 2018 was a public address by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, which was streamed live to one billion people worldwide.
As a not-for-profit organisation, surplus revenue is used to maintain the historic Grade II* Listed building and to support charitable causes.
In 2018, £450,000 was spent on improvement works including a complete refurbishment and rebranding of its public café. For 2019 and beyond, a budget of £1.1m has been set for a ten-year building maintenance programme.
Having solidified its reputation as central London’s largest conferencing and events venue, it aims to grow revenues further by 2020 to £8.3 million with a projected £1.7m per year being made available for charitable purposes.
Paul Southern, managing director of Central Hall Westminster (pictured), commented: “For the past five years we have beat our own record for results, but in the last year it has been phenomenal, with the large increase in both concert and conference business.
We really took the spotlight on the world stage with the number of internationally acclaimed and high-profile events which took place here. Prime Minister Modi’s address to one billion people around the world had particular resonance with us after Mahatma Gandhi addressed an audience from the very same stage exactly 70 years earlier.”