Budget 2021 – statement from Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre

A statement from Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre, following today’s Budget 2021 announcement:

‘The Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre welcome the support that Rishi Sunak and HM Treasury have shown the theatre sector in the Autumn 2021 Budget.

‘The increase in rates of relief for Theatre Tax Relief from 27 October 2021 to 45% and 50% (for touring productions) will provide producers and investors with greater confidence in developing our world-leading theatre and drive the cultural recovery from the pandemic. The relief will taper down from 1 April 2023, reducing to 30% and 35% and will return to 20% and 25% on 1 April 2024.

‘The temporary business rates relief for theatre buildings in 2022-23, a 50% relief up to a £110,000 cap per business, will provide venue operators with the cushion of a lower cost base as they reopen and develop an audience post-pandemic. The 100% improvement relief for business rates, providing 12 months relief from higher bills for occupiers where eligible improvements to an existing property increase the rateable value, from 2023 will encourage innovation and enhancement of our theatre buildings.

‘Finally, the welcome news that core funding for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Local Authorities is set to increase will reassure the venues and performing arts companies up and down the country that rely on their support in delivering culture to their local communities.

‘Over the next few days, we will be analysing the detail of the budget, continuing to work with government to promote the values of this £4.5bn sector as we get greater clarity on all the measures announced today.’