Theatre and the performing arts play a huge role in enriching our national identity, our economy and our local communities. In 2018, venues represented by The Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre generated ticket revenue of £1.28 billion, employing 290,000 workers. Over 70% of those jobs are now at risk.
Amidst warnings from venues that 70% of theatres will run out of cash by the end of the year, this paper presents the urgent measures needed to rescue the performing arts sector.
Our DCMS submission calls for moves to:
Sustain the workforce, through the continuation and development of the Job Retention Scheme and a new package to support the army of freelancers and self-employed artists who create so much of our work.
Support theatre recovery, through adaptations to the existing theatre production tax relief scheme, support for businesses that supply theatres, and aid with making venues Covid-19 secure.
Safeguard the future of the theatre industry, through an Emergency Relief Fund and the creation of a new Cultural Investment Participation Scheme for the sector from government: a national pledge for culture.
SOLT and UK Theatre look forward to continuing to work with the government and to providing more detailed evidence to the DCMS to move forward in strategic measures to rescue British theatre and allow it to re-open successfully.