I have signed a letter to the Chancellor calling on help for theatres to recover from Covid-19. The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the theatre sector has been substantial:
- Loss to HMT of VAT payments (over £130m for West End theatres alone) plus enormous economic impact on all related hospitality and other businesses – multiplier estimated at 5-6 times in major cities – if theatres are forced to shut down permanently.
- Latest ONS figures show only one industry had less than 90% of businesses reporting that they were currently trading. This was the arts, entertainment and recreation industry, at 79%. 5% of arts, entertainment and recreation industry businesses intended to close permanently in the next three months.
- Many redundancies in the theatre sector have already been made, and more are to come. This includes up to 1,200 at ATG; 850 from Delfont Macintosh; and 600 at HQ theatres.
Our concerns and suggestions are listed in the attached letter.