UK Theatre Business Plan: 2017-21

UK Theatre Business Plan: 2017-21

UKT Business Plan 2017-21 Cover Page Image

UK Theatre’s Business Plan for 2017-21 reflects a changed and dynamic environment. Our industry is a vital part of the creative industries - one of the fastest growing areas of the economy - and in 2016 we again saw a welcome increase in ticket sales and income. 

Over the next few years we’ll continue to face considerable funding challenges, our stages and workforce must become more diverse if our industry is to truly reflect and explore who we are, and we can play an important role in helping our society to navigate new territory outside of the European Union.

It’s vital that UK Theatre supports our industry to become more resilient and relevant than ever before. From 2017-21 we will support our members to make sure that audiences across the UK can experience wonderful theatre and performing arts for many years to come.

Promote performing arts as a viable career

Our Workforce Development Strategy aims to ensure that the appropriate skills and expertise are in place for theatre and the performing arts to thrive in the future.

Projects include:    

Relevant consultation responses:


Improve the diversity of theatre and the performing arts

Our Workforce Strategy aims to improve the diversity of the theatre and performing arts workforce and address long-term culture change in the industry.

Theatre Casting Toolkit

D/deaf and Disabled Access Training

The Business of Inclusion

Support for the PIPA campaign

Stage Sight


Safe and supportive working practices

UK Theatre and SOLT are coordinating industry-wide action to ensure that theatre and the performing arts is a safer, more supportive and inclusive working environment for all. 

Encouraging Safer and More Supportive Working Practices Handbook

Dignity at Work training

Theatre Helpline


Support funding and income generation

When resources are precious, how can we create value without wasting time or money? The Business Resilience Conference offers senior leaders space to examine their business models, funding and finance. Sessions have covered new funding models, capital projects, why inclusion is business critical and digital transformation. You can submit ideas for next year’s conference programme here.

We continue to advocate for both national and local funding of theatre and the performing arts and are developing our research base to submit to the Comprehensive Spending Review. You can be part of this by providing a case study via this short survey.

Recent issues have included business rates, and our consultation response on Charity Tax Reliefs.

We worked with the Local Government Association to establish their first Theatre Champion. We have also been working with members to collect Local Authority Case Studies.

We have delivered the Hearts for the Arts Campaign  for the National Campaign for the Arts

Sales Data Collection and Reporting


Support theatre and performing arts to exploit digital developments 

From Live to Digital Research

Live to Digital - A Guide to Getting Started


Support the health of touring, producing and presenting ecology

Everyone can get involved in conversations to devise a contemporary, consistent and clear way to improve the long-term health of the touring, producing and presenting model. A new Producing, Presenting and Touring Handbook will help all parties use clear and consistent ways of working. 

Presenting, Producing and Touring programme of work

Theatre and Touring Symposium


Ensure UK Theatre Membership is fit for purpose

Throughout February 2019, members can take our 2019 Member Survey to tell us how you think UK Theatre is doing, how we can improve and how we can support theatre and performing arts to stay resilient.

We have welcomed new Board Members to ensure the right range of skills, experience, knowledge and diversity to support delivery of our Business Plan.


Modernise the sector’s approach to Employment Relations

We have developed the strategic dialogue with the Trade Unions, continuing to work to modernise the national agreements and reposition our relationship with the unions to facilitate a clearer, more purposeful and commercially focused approach. We have modernised the collective agreements to improve clarity.

Our Employment Relations Team provided one to one advice on more than 300 issues raised by members in 2018.

New UK Theatre Equity Subsidised Agreement

Legal Service 

We gave one to one legal advice on more than 230 issues raised by UK Theatre and SOLT members in 2018.  

We have updated members on key legal issues including GDPR and Data Protection, PRS Tariff LP, Secondary Ticketing, and Immigration.

Buildings, technical and security

Security best practice guidance and briefings are available for members.  This guidance is kept up to date following updates from UK Government and in response to emerging security risks including recent advice on dealing with acid attacks.

After two successful Off Stage conferences plans are now underway for 2019.  The event will explore key topics affecting our members. Submit your ideas for this year's conference here.

We ran 6 IOSH training courses in 2018, with 6 more already booked for 2019.  Open courses are held at Rose Street and Birmingham Hippodrome. In-house courses may also be held at member venues.

Our extended SAFERtheatre consultancy services to members launched in 2018. We have visited members across the country for a number of assignments including delivering bespoke training courses, writing new safety policies and conducting H&S audits for members. 

We work with the National Counter Terrorism and Security Office (NaCTSO) and are firmly established members of their Crowded Places Information Exchange (CPIE) meeting. This meeting gives us access to UK police & security services and their full range of information and guidance. 

We created two new theatre subgroups of CPIE, called TOSCA (Theatre Operators Security Communication Advisory group). TOSCA meetings are held in London every quarter and regionally every 6 months.  We have over 50 participants attending both meeting representing close to 100 venue operators and producers throughout all corners of the UK.

Research and analysis to drive the resilience of the sector

Theatre Workforce Review

GDPR information and legislation updates

Sales Data collection and reporting

Brexit - In late 2017 we began our own research on Brexit’s potential impact on our sector. The evidence has allowed UK Theatre to be part of policy discussions with government, parliamentarians and other stakeholders.  

Theatre Tax Relief (TTR) -  We have commissioned research to undertake a study assessing the contribution of the TTR to theatre and performing arts, to be published in Spring 2019.


Celebrate excellence through the UK Theatre Awards

We revised and refreshed the UK Theatre Awards and in 2019 they’ll become even more relevant to today’s industry, with new categories and a new way for UK Theatre members to get involved.

Training, courses, conferences and events

We reviewed and have developed the UK Theatre programme of training and events and conferences.

Advocacy and Communications

We have responded to over 20 consultations this year. These include; CMS Select Committee - Social impact of participation in culture and sport inquiry; Taylor Review Employment Status; Ecodesign and energy labeling (Theatrical Lighting).

In addition to written consultations, we have presented in parliament, attended meetings and engaged with civil servants and Parliamentarians in the Lords and Commons.

We have worked with departments from DCMS to the Department for Trade and Industry, and have regular catch-ups with DCMS and their counterparts in Labour and the Lib Dems, briefing them on our work and concerns of the sector.

Monthly Advocacy Briefings for members


Member Survey 2019

UK Theatre Members can take our 2019 Member Survey (open until 28 February). Tell us how you think UK Theatre is doing, how we can improve and how we can support theatre and performing arts to stay resilient.

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"UK Theatre" is the operating name of UK Theatre Association, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, whose registered office is at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, Company No 323204.