Theatres Trust director Jon Morgan has released a statement on upcoming World Theatre Day (27th March) in light of the pandemic:
“This World Theatre Day in 2021 will be a bittersweet one with theatres across the UK unable to open. Before the pandemic hit, theatres played an important role in communities everywhere. More than 34million people attend theatres in the UK each year, generating £1.28bn in ticket revenue and contributing £7bn to the wider economy.
Theatres also make a contribution to their local areas that is harder to put a price on – making our towns and cities more vibrant and attractive, boosting pride in local areas, as places where people can come together, be inspired and feel part of a greater collective. Although most have been unable to welcome live audiences for the past year, theatres have still played a vital role in their communities during the pandemic. Showing enormous resilience and creativity, theatres have pivoted into community response hubs, foodbanks and vaccination centres, connecting with audiences in new ways and reaching out into the wider community.
This is too precious to risk losing and Theatres Trust has worked resolutely to help the UK’s valued theatres survive the pandemic. We secured important changes to planning law to protect theatres falling vacant due to Covid and have been pleased to be able to support more than 300 organisations through our free advice service and webinar programme, around 80 theatres through the #SaveOurTheatres Crowdfunder campaign and 75 theatres with grants to help with reopening costs. In total we have raised almost £2m to support theatres at this challenging time.
Theatres Trust will continue to support theatres to navigate the challenges ahead so they can play an important part in the UK’s recovery, economic and social, as we come out of lockdown.”