National Cultural Centre heavily subsidised by Government

Guyana Chronicle
January 19, 2003

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THE National Cultural Centre (NCC), Guyana's leading facility for cultural shows, is being heavily subsidised by the Government to make it available to producers/organisers at low-cost rentals.

However, despite that the NCC collects rental fees for the facility, its annual revenue is only about one-fifth of its operating costs, NCC Administrative Manager Mr. Gladwin Saul has reported.

In an interview with Government Information Agency (GINA), he said that the NCC’s revenue collection for last year - some $7M - accounted for salaries, travelling and electricity among other things. The NCC’s operating costs amounted to about $34M.

Mr. Saul pointed out that while some producers feel that the charges are too high, revenue for producers last year was $21,302,378 compared to the NCC's $7M.

He said, the Centre, through its capital works programme, was able to significantly upgrade its facilities over the past year.

Some of the work complete include the installation of two new air conditioners; removal of asbestos from the inner walls of the NCC; completion of rewiring of the lights room, the dimmer rack room and the fly gallery; repairs to the catwalk; installation of additional security lights; installation of two dewatering pumps; installation of a water purification system for drinking purposes; complete renovation of the stage; installation of new theatrical lights; refurbishing of the fishpond and the VIP bar on the patio.

Saul said the facilities provided by the NCC are of a high quality and cannot be matched at any other location in the country.

He pointed out that the National Parks rental cost to hold events for entertainment is about $150,000, which does not include security, seats and sound system.

At the NCC, a producers pays $40,000 rental, which includes sound, light, technical staff and three rehearsals with the full complement of the technical staff.

Mr. Raymon Cummings of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport says the cost at other locations is much higher than that offered by the NCC. For instance, he said, the Better Hope Community Centre ground charges $100,000 as rental, which does not include lights, sound and seating.

The rental fee for the Grande Savannah Suite of Le Meridian Pegasus is in the vicinity of $60,000 and does not have the seating capacity of the Cultural Centre.

The NCC complex on Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown, first opened on May 16, 1976. It is the premier centre for not only local and foreign performers but also State functions. (Government Information Agency)

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