York Minster made a loss of £805,000 last year – but that figure shows it is back ‘on the right track,’ say cathedral bosses.
The previous year it suffered a net deficit of more than £2.3 million due to the ‘catastrophic impact’ of Covid-19.
The latest accounts, published today (Wednesday, 22 June), show that the return of paying visitors and strong retail sales helped to reduce the cathedral’s year end deficit to £805K at 31 December 2021.
York Minster generated £7.1m in 2021, up by £659K from the previous year. Visitor income went up from £868K in 2020 to £2m in 2021, and shop income rose from £344K in 2020 to £726K last year.
In a statement, the Minster said: “Whilst hugely encouraging, the full recovery of the visitor business will take time: at 226,700 the 2021 visitor figure is 60% behind the 2019 level.”
The Minster’s spending dropped by £840K last year, due to the closure of Minster School and the lack of learning and outreach activities, such as school visits.
Investments are proving volatile. Although returns reached £3.3m in 2021 – up by £335K – “much of this has been lost in the first months of 2022 due to stock market volatility, inflationary pressures, energy prices, the continuing impact of Covid in China and the global economic shock caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.
The 2021 accounts also record more than £1m paid out to Minster staff in redundancy settlements last year.
The Revd Canon Michael Smith, Acting Dean of York said: “The tough decisions taken by Chapter in 2020, were vital in securing the cathedral’s future.
“Those decisions have put us on the right track: although we still finished 2021 with a deficit, it was much reduced on the previous year.
“We are in no doubt: there is still considerable work to do. Careful stewardship of the cathedral’s resources will remain a priority for many years.”
You can read more and download the York Minster accounts here.