OVER £4 million has been wiped off the value of the Beacon Arts Centre - but bosses insist the venue is on the up.

According to the annual accounts of parent company, Greenock Arts Guild Ltd (GAGL), the waterfront building was worth £8m last year compared with just over £12m in 2017.

The 2017 figure was already £1.1m less than the original construction cost of £13.25m in 2013, due to depreciation.

The information was published in the company's annual accounts, which reveal the Beacon made a loss of £357,000 last year once the revaluation deficit was stripped out.

This was largely down to a fall in donations from the likes of Inverclyde Council and Creative Scotland, poor performance of the bistro restaurant and bar, and increasing costs for things like new equipment.

Despite the shortfall, income from ticket sales, merchandise and room hire was up by £152,000 to £667,000, and directors say the Beacon is heading in the right direction.

Chairman Gordon Armour said: "In the last financial year, GAGL has faced significant financial challenges, but with a robust board, strong governance structure, a clear fundraising focus and wider support from partners, the business is developing resilience.

"GAGL now aims to develop a broader income generation base in line with its income generation strategy.

"Specific financial goals have been set to establish a level of cash reserves to around three months' turnover and to increase the levels of fundraising income from trusts, businesses and individual donors."

One of the key priorities for the board is increasing revenue from the Beacon's bistro bar and restaurant.

According to the annual accounts published by Companies House, the number of covers - 31,000 - is down by nearly a quarter in the last two years with turnover falling by £75,000 since 2015/16 to just under £330,000.

The theatre performed much better, with audience numbers up 10 per cent as 58,732 people attended a total of 254 live performances during the period.

Over 112,000 people in total visited the Beacon during the financial year.

Mr Armour said: "Although there were net liabilities of £281,972 at March 31, 2018, liabilities will be met timeously due to the timing of grant funding receipts.

"Three-year funding agreements are in place with Inverclyde Council and Creative Scotland and these run until 2021.

"The company also requires to continue improving its financial activities if it is to become sustainable.

"There is a robust programme of performances planned and advanced ticket sales are at a healthy level. "Improvements are also being made in the bistro and it is anticipated that a greater surplus will be generated in future years. "The charity also continues to seek new sources of income to support its ongoing activities."

The Beacon employed 43 members of staff employed during the year.