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Selladoor Worldwide Statement re the Government Support Package

Footloose at New Theatre Oxford
Footloose at New Theatre Oxford

Selladoor Worldwide, one of the country’s largest touring companies, and operators of Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple, The Landmark Ilfracombe and the Peterborough New Theatre, welcome the announcement from Department of Culture, Media and Sports Secretary of State Oliver Dowden MP and Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP that a support package of £1.57bn will be injected into the arts sector.

David Hutchinson CEO says “We hugely welcome the Government’s announcement of a £1.57bn package of support for the arts and culture last night. This funding promises to offer our sector a vital lifeline as we continue to plan survival through COVID-19. The theatre sector has been decimated since closure in March, and what is clear is that we won’t be able to open our doors anytime soon as running a commercially viable theatre model with social distancing just isn’t possible. What the Government have done today is to strongly acknowledge the value of the arts – both economic and cultural – and that is an incredibly positive endorsement for all in the theatre sector who have suffered many months of adversity during one of the biggest crises to hit the industry in the last century.

The absolute key is in the detail now, of how these funds can support the wide ecology of people and organisations in the arts – and do so quickly. We’ve seen thousands of redundancies, many theatres on the brink of collapse and the damage of losing vital skills, experience and artists from our sector for good. We need to mobilise fast to start working as a sector to move together to the rebuild stage.

This Government package has given the theatre sector a vital lifeline to continue our role – not just promoting the arts, but in communities, schools and as placemakers up and down the country.

Phillip Rowntree CFO says “The economic impact of COVID-19 has been felt by individuals and businesses throughout the country, but none more than the theatre sector, one of the first to close and certainly one of the last to reopen again.

The Government announcement of a £1.57bn support package is a vital lifeline for a sector so badly affected by this pandemic and we are very grateful for the acknowledgement of the value of arts and culture in the UK.

Time is of the essence now, and in order for us to make best use of these funds we need clear guidance on the Government’s timeline for allowing venues to reopen again. With the ability to plan the sector as a whole can ensure the Government’s investment today benefits as many individuals and businesses as possible ensuring a vibrant and thriving sector tomorrow.”

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