The director of a Gloucestershire theatre has warned that live shows may not return until next year and that they need to raise £250,000 if they are to survive.
Like many businesses around the county, Gloucestershire’s theatres had to shut their doors at the start of the year and are still unable to open them. And now, the director of Tewkesbury’s The Roses Theatre has warned that there is a tricky road ahead.
In a letter sent out to customers, the director of The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury explained that ‘the situation remains extremely challenging’ for the theatre and that things may be difficult for some time with live shows potentially not returning until next year.
What’s more, she explained that they have predicted that the impact of the current situation has caused the theatre to lose £750,000.
The director, Jessica Brewster said: “In terms of the immediate future, we are currently unable to stage live shows under Government Covid-19 regulations and may not be able to do so until 2021.”
She went on to say: “The next 12 months are going to be crucial in defining the future of the business. We need to raise £250,000 to ensure we survive 2021.”
Before adding: “The impact of Covid-19 is predicted to reduce our income by £750k by Christmas. As a result we have had to temporarily reduce the staff team to two and place all other staff on furlough.”
The full letter from the director of The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury reads:
“I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting an update from The Roses. Thank you for your patience during what has been an exceptionally challenging time for us all. I hope you are safe and well.
“Firstly, a huge thank you for your ongoing support and to everyone who has made a donation to the theatre. Every single penny has helped us survive the last few months, particularly as we have seen an 95% drop in donations overall since the theatre closed.
“The Roses went into the Covid-19 crisis already in a vulnerable situation. We are wholly reliant on earned income and fundraising, with no reserves available. The impact of Covid-19 is predicted to reduce our income by £750k by Christmas. As a result we have had to temporarily reduce the staff team to two and place all other staff on furlough.
“In terms of the immediate future, we are currently unable to stage live shows under Government Covid-19 regulations and may not be able to do so until 2021.
“The next 12 months are going to be crucial in defining the future of the business. We need to raise £250,000 to ensure we survive 2021.
“However, we’ve got off to a good start with this and have successfully applied for emergency funding from Arts Council England, the British Film Institute, and Gloucestershire Funders, which altogether has raised £60,000; plus we have been gifted over £6,000 in donations.
“This money is supporting us across a number of areas: from today we are opening Box Office on a part time basis in order to process outstanding customer refunds (please note that our phone lines will remain closed for the time being whilst we carry out this work) and we are now able to bring a limited number of staff in to explore how we can reopen later in the year. We’ve also made urgent changes to the business model to create a more sustainable and successful future.
“We have also been awarded a small pot of funding for a season of digital work to get you (our brilliant audience) to get creative during the Covid-19 crisis.
“We are incredibly proud to present our inaugural Feel Good Festival: a free programme of live streamed concerts, workshops, masterclasses, and creative sessions by some of the best artists and creative businesses across the area, all designed to boost well-being during this incredibly challenging time.
“We’re launching this Friday 24 July with a live streamed concert from Non Jovi, which you can watch completely free over on our Youtube channel. Watch this space for more updates coming very soon.
“While we have made considerable steps to staying resilient over the coming months, the situation remains extremely challenging for us as an organisation. However, we are remaining positive with some exciting plans for next year and beyond.
“If you have any queries or questions you want to ask me, please do not hesitate to get in touch.