News: Capital Theatres receives £168,000 National Lottery support to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its heritage properties

Capital Theatres, Scotland’s largest theatre charity, has received £168,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to support its three venues – Festival Theatre, King’s Theatre and The Studio, through this period of closure. This vital funding which will help maintain our buildings in a safe condition has been made possible thanks to National Lottery players.

This funding from the Heritage Emergency Fund will go towards covering essential costs such as electricity, gas, IT, insurance and maintenance of the theatres whilst they are closed. It will also go towards a small element of staff salaries for those who are responsible for ensuring the venues are secure and maintained whilst closed, and who will plan how we can adapt our venues to safely reopen our venues when we are allowed to do so.

At least 90% of Capital Theatres’ income is generated from ticket sales and trading income, meaning that the sudden closure meant an immediate loss of the two main sources of income. To date Capital Theatres has refunded 52,900 tickets with a value of over £2.5m. The postponement of the panto until 2021 will result in a further £2.3m loss of income. 

It is currently campaigning to receive emergency support to the same level as other publicly supported theatres which would allow Capital Theatres to play its part in the renewal solution for Edinburgh and Scotland. 

Beyond its 3 key venues the organisation provides local community health and wellbeing benefits through an extensive programme currently adapted to run virtually, delivers a key element of Edinburgh’s year-round cultural offer for local citizens and retains 230 jobs in the city’s cultural sector

Kate Smith, Director of Development at Capital Theatres said: “Capital Theatres, Scotland’s largest theatre charity, is responsible for the Festival Theatre, King’s Theatre and the Studio. When we closed our venues in March due to Covid-19 we saw a 90% reduction in our income from loss of ticket sales.  This vital funding from the Heritage Emergency Fund will help maintain our buildings in a safe condition. On behalf of everyone at Capital Theatres we would like to thank National Lottery Players.”

The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50million was made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector.

The UK-wide fund aimed to address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis. 

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as Capital Theatres during this uncertain time.”

Like Capital Theatres, other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. By playing The National Lottery, people up and down the country are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund is now closed for applications. To find out more about how The National Heritage Emergency Fund is supporting the sector at this time please visit:

To find out more about the National Lottery Good Causes , visit:

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