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Job losses at Birmingham Hippodrome amid coronavirus crisis

By Dayna Farrington | Birmingham | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

A number of staff at Birmingham Hippodrome could be made redundant in an attempt to save the venue.

Fans queue for preview tickets for The Book of Mormon at Birmingham Hippodrome in February. Pictures by: Simon Handley

Birmingham Hippodrome is currently closed until November 2, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But in a statement released yesterday, the theatre's artistic director and chief executive officer Fiona Allan said they had made the "difficult and heartbreaking conclusion" to scale back areas of the business and "significantly reduce our team size".

She said that the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the Birmingham Hippodrome had been "devastating".

Birmingham Hippodrome has now entered a period of consultation with those staff affected.

In a statement, she said: "The impact of the crisis has been devastating, and it has become a reality that Birmingham Hippodrome will be unable to reopen until social distancing measures are relaxed.

"Almost all our income is received from ticket sales, and without that revenue stream the future of the theatre is in jeopardy.

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"We have had to accept that our immediate future has changed, and our financial situation will be in jeopardy for some time to come.

"When it comes time to reopen Birmingham Hippodrome, it will need to be a different organisation than when we closed.

"This has led to the very difficult and heartbreaking conclusion that we need to scale back areas of the business and significantly reduce our team size.

Overwhelmed

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"It is with great sadness to confirm that Birmingham Hippodrome has entered a period of redundancy consultations as a direct result of prolonged business closure due to the Covid-19 global crisis.

"The changes to the furlough scheme announced by the Chancellor last week, whilst fair for the broader economy, are not fit for purpose for the theatre industry. With the closure of the job retention scheme on October 31 and no current guidance of when we will we be able to reopen – we do not have the reserves to sustain prolonged closure."

Ms Allan added: "Our Birmingham Hippodrome team are loyal, talented and dedicated and I want to thank them for their support and resilience at this time of crisis.

"I have personally been overwhelmed by the graciousness and kindness they have shown each other and the Hippodrome.

"Those affected have been contacted and no final decision for redundancies we will be made until the consultation process has been completed."

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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