With the news being published tonight announcing the £1.57 billion rescue package for the arts, I’d like to share a statement in response from Jon Morgan, director of The Theatres Trust, a national advisory public body for theatres.
Jon Morgan comments:
Theatres Trust welcomes the announcement of £1.57bn additional support for the arts and cultural sectors, and the recognition of the importance of these sectors to the UK economy and national life. We will need to know more detail of how this money will be allocated across the different areas to fully assess its benefit – we would hope that a significant proportion will be reserved for the performing arts. Theatres have been amongst the hardest hit industries by the pandemic and are still at risk as they are unable to operate viably while social distancing is in place.
It remains to be seen whether this amount will be sufficient to replace the furlough scheme, as it begins to taper from August and ends in October, at a time when we still do not have timescales for theatres reopening.
We are pleased to see investment in capital projects included in this announcement. Our research has shown that there are more than 100 theatre capital projects worth almost £800m that have been stalled by the pandemic by anywhere between 3 and 18 months at a cost of upwards of £66m.