Secretary of Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden was questioned by DCMS this morning about the plan for creative industries and reopening of cultural venues. Theatres Trust Director Jon Morgan responds:
As highlighted by Julian Knight MP at the DCMS Committee hearing, it is evident that the new Job Support Scheme will not prevent mass redundancies in the theatre industry. Further sector-specific support is needed: jobs in theatre are still viable and vital.
With the recent rise in infection rates and local lockdowns, we appreciate that setting a ‘not before date’ for the full reopening of theatres without social distancing is challenging. We welcome Oliver Dowden’s commitment to continuing to work with the sector to agree minimum mitigating measures that will enable theatres to safely increase capacity.
Theatres are well placed to be at the heart of the country’s recovery, providing a much-needed reason for people to visit beleaguered town centres, boosting local and night-time economies. However, we need further investment in theatre from government both to ensure they survive the Covi-19 lockdown, and as part of wider infrastructure investment to protect valuable community facilities and revitalise our high streets.