Jon Morgan, director of the Theatres Trust, has responded to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement of the Jobs Support Scheme:
“The Chancellor’s announcement today of the new Jobs Support Scheme will provide some respite for those theatres who are able to find ways of opening their buildings and of putting on work. For some theatres, this scheme will help them survive as it means they are no longer facing a cliff edge in their finances when the furlough scheme ends.
But sadly it will not benefit most theatres and we fear that it will not be enough to stem the flow of redundancies across the sector nor ultimately to protect the fabric of our cultural landscape. Following six months without their main source of income, theatre reserves are already gravely depleted. With no way of reopening safely and viably on the horizon for many theatres, the future of the sector is still very much in jeopardy.
Theatres Trust welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement that VAT on goods and services in the tourism and hospitality sectors will be held at 5% until the end of March. The extension of support for the self-employed, which make up 70% of the theatre sector’s workforce, is also welcome, although we hope the new scheme will plug the gaps in the previous provision.”