PENARTH Town Council is set to use “blue sky thinking” in a bid to increase use of the Paget Rooms after the latest financial reports showed a shortfall of more than £2,000 compared to this time last year.

The latest statement of income for the facility, which hosts a range of events and dramatic performances, from April 2013 to February 2014 currently stands at £24,422, compared to £26,903 last year.

Although both amounts are still more than £21,553 raised by February in the 2011 to 2012 financial year, councillors said that the town council needed to address the deficit.

During a leisure and amenities committee meeting last night, March 27, Councillor Rhiannon Birch said that the council was “looking to be as innovative a possible” and would start using “lateral and blue sky thinking” in a bid to come up with ideas to increase profits.

Councillor Mark Wilson, who represents the Stanwell ward, added that the council needed to be “pro active and look at other forms of income streams”.

The financial report also showed that the Kymin has made more than £500 compared to this time last year, with £37,130.13 compared to £36,767.69, after a leap from £25,776.83 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year to February.

Penarth Cemetery profits are £400 worse off than this time last year as they stand at £42,816.00 and £43.882.00 respectively, but both of them are more than the £24,446.85 made by February of the 2011 to 2012 financial year.

Councillor Anthony Ernest, who represents the Plymouth ward, said that the spike in profits was from the council’s decision two years ago to increase charges because of “substantial losses incurred in previous years”.

The leisure and amenities committee also heard that the town council’s recently appointed media and publicity project officer, Lauren Wilson, had a number of ideas about how to get more business for both the Paget Rooms and the Kymin and that she would submit a report to the committee in the near future.

Shan Bowden, Penarth Town Council town clerk, said that some of her ideas were based around the fact that West House now has a wedding licence and that the council believed it had a wedding licence at the Kymin as well.

She added that Lauren, who has also been behind the recent launch of a Penarth Town Council Facebook page, had “lots of ideas about how to get the public supporting the Paget Rooms”.

She added that when the income of the Paget Rooms, the Kymin and Penarth Cemetery was measured against expenditure all three facilities were either in deficit or close to breaking even, and that none of them made a profit.