Belgrade Theatre praises £1.57 billion support package for the arts

The government’s commitment to a bailout will come as a huge relief for theatres, helping to address the massive uncertainty they have been facing.

The Belgrade Theatre’s creative leadership team has praised the government’s £1.57 billion support package for the arts, but said that the funding needs to do more than simply support venues.

Many UK theatres have found themselves on the brink of financial collapse, with some forced to consider mass redundancies, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government’s commitment to a bailout will come as a huge relief for theatres, helping to address the massive uncertainty they have been facing.

The news was warmly received by the Belgrade Theatre, where staff are now eagerly awaiting news of how the funding will be distributed, and are keen to ensure the benefits are felt as widely as possible. 

The Belgrade’s creative leadership team, consisting of Hamish Glen, Corey Campbell, Justine Themen and Balisha Karra, explained in a joint statement that the theatre industry has a “complex and intricate ecology”, adding that “the success of theatre venues, like ours, relies on the health of the arts sector as a whole.”

The team continued: “It is vital that the promised funding not only supports venues like the Belgrade, but also extends far and wide to cover freelancers, grassroots organisations and independent companies across the country”.

Executive director Joanna Reid agreed, emphasising the importance of making sure the funding is evenly distributed across the country, because the arts play such a vital role in supporting the economic and social health of the regions.

Nevertheless, the theatre acknowledged that there is more work to be done, and said it hopes that the government’s pledge of support will provide it with the boost it needs not only to survive, but to improve, channelling its energies into offering support where it is needed most. 

Following the announcement by the government of the support package, the Belgrade joined venues across the UK on Monday night by lighting up in red in a show of hope and solidarity with the arts.

The Light it in Red campaign encouraged arts venues to light up together in a show of solidarity, as the industry has been amongst the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.