SOLT and UK Theatre Continue To Work With Government To Find Solutions For The Theatre Industry
SOLT and UK Theatre look forward to continuing to work with the government, following the submission of a paper to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) outlining practical solutions to support the theatre industry as our venues warn of closures and financial difficulties.
The Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre compiled evidence from across the sector on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the theatre industry and submitted a paper to DCMS laying out what the sector needs to survive.
Coinciding with the first meeting of the newly created Entertainment and Events Working Group, the submission details the investment that the theatre industry needs to sustain our workforce, encourage growth and recovery and safeguard our sector.
Theatre and the performing arts play a huge role in enriching our national identity, our economy and our local communities.
More people see a theatre show each year than attend all League football matches in the whole of the UK.
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 restart the performing arts sector. It 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.
Theatre generates £133m in VAT payments for HM Treasury in London alone. We want the government to invest in our sector so we can continue to play our vital role in Britain's future success and help the UK's recovery.
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 support British theatre and allow it to re-open successfully.