SOLT & UK Theatre Respond To The Chancellor’s Decision To Maintain The Higher Rate Of Theatre Tax Relief

Co-CEOs of Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, Claire Walker and Hannah Essex, have today commented on the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s budget which includes maintaining the Higher rate of Theatre Tax Relief to support theatres through these uncertain and challenging times.

Claire Walker and Hannah Essex, Co-CEOs of SOLT and UK Theatre, welcomed this afternoon’s budget saying, “We are delighted that the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt MP and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Frazer MP have recognised the value and potential of the Theatre Sector in today’s budget by maintaining the higher rate of theatre tax relief until 2025.”

“Maintaining the higher rate means that producers can provide stronger incentives to attract new and greater investment, move forward with confidence on creating exciting productions and provide more jobs for the UK’s hugely talented freelancers, staff and performers in the Creative Industries.”

“The new productions unlocked by the higher rate will drive economic growth across the country: for every £1 spent on a theatre ticket, audiences spend £1.40 around the theatre in bars, restaurants and on their transport and accommodation, providing a boost of £1.94bn a year to local economies.”

“As the Chancellor plans to outline his long-term vision for the Creative Industries as a key growth sector later in the year, maintaining this higher rate of relief is a welcome first step to deliver growth in the creative economy, and the theatre industry looks forward to increased collaboration with HM Treasury over the next few months as the vision is developed.”

Stephanie Sirr MBE, CEO of the Nottingham Playhouse and Joint President of UK Theatre, said: “This scheme is so needed because it incentivises action not inaction. We make the best theatre in the world in the UK, we are enabled by the extension of this elevated rate to keep on doing just that. We can employ more people to make theatre which will be appreciated by audiences and generate more revenue to the sector and to the Treasury. It is a genuine win: win.”

Eleanor Lloyd and Kenny Wax, Commercial Producers and President and Vice President of the Society of London Theatre, said: “The news today that the government will maintain the higher rate of theatre tax relief will be hugely welcomed by commercial producers – entrepreneurial Sole Traders, Micro Businesses and SMEs that are at the core of the UK’s world-leading theatre scene. It will provide us with greater incentives to secure investment, develop amazing new productions, employ more staff and bring fantastic live shows to our audiences across the country and around the world. It’s an amazing scheme, and we’re grateful that the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Culture recognise our sector’s potential for growth.”

Mark Cornell, CEO of Ambassador Theatre Group, said: “ATG welcomes this continued support from the UK Government. We are encouraged by the collaboration within the industry to put forward a compelling rationale to DCMS and The Treasury for maintaining TTR at higher rates. Above all, we hope that this will give renewed confidence to producers and the investment community to continue developing and producing world-class theatre”.

Chris Stafford, CEO of Curve Theatre Leicester, said: “Today’s budget announcement regarding Theatre Tax Relief (TTR) is game-changing for our sector and the wider economy. The higher rate of TTR has been crucial in helping our sector reboot from Covid-enforced closures, which in turn has played a key role in attracting visitors to towns and cities across the UK. As we look to the future, maintaining this rate will enable theatres and producers to present and create work on our stages, engage millions of audiences and employ thousands of workers; all positively impacting on our local economies and maintaining our world-beating UK theatre sector. Our thanks to the Treasury and DCMS for continuing the ongoing support.”

Alex Beard, CEO of the Royal Opera House, said: “We are hugely grateful for the vital support announced by the Government in today’s Budget. These measures recognise that investment in culture equals an investment in economic growth and job creation, helping to present a confident UK to the world: – a UK to visit, invest in, and which has immense cultural influence around the world.”

Kate Varah, Executive Director of the National Theatre, said: “We are thrilled that the Government has made the vital decision to maintain the higher rate of Theatre Tax Relief. In a period where the sector is navigating ongoing financial headwinds, it means the National Theatre and our colleagues in theatres across the UK can continue to make world-class productions of real ambition that delight audiences, provide jobs, stimulate economic growth and cement the UK as a global leader in culture.”

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