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40 per cent of jobs at risk at Birmingham Repertory Theatre

By Dayna Farrington | Birmingham | Birmingham entertainment | Published:

Up to 40 per cent of staff at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre could lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Photo: Ross Jukes

Bosses at the theatre have not confirmed how many roles that includes but said the proposals being put forward could affect up to 40 per cent of the workforce.

The theatre has been closed since mid-March due to Covid-19 and bosses say redundancies are necessary to protect the venue's future due to 80 per cent of income coming from ticket sales and associated revenue.

The news comes despite the theatre having this week been granted £540,489 in emergency funding by Arts Council England and the Government announcing a further £1.57bn support package for the arts sector.

Bosses said the funding was welcome but that not knowing when they would be able to reopen meant cost-saving measures were necessary.

Rachael Thomas, executive director, and Sean Foley, artistic director, said: "Our role as custodians of this much-loved theatre, with its historic legacy, is to ensure that it survives the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Even after the new measures are taken into account, we believe that survival is threatened if we do not act now. We could still be facing many months of being unable to trade and must therefore take action to mitigate the loss of income by reducing our costs.

“Whilst we are prioritising our work in creative learning, community engagement, and our wider civic mission during this time, this reorganisation will protect the DNA of The REP as a producing theatre.

“We are incredibly proud of the way our staff have responded to the Covid-19 crisis and want to thank them for their fortitude and spirit at this most difficult of times.

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"We recognise and applaud all those that have volunteered – or are volunteering – in our community to support the NHS or those who are vulnerable in our society."

They added: “We are confident that The REP will be able to continue to make a key contribution to the civic and cultural renaissance of Birmingham over the next few years.

"We intend to return – when trading conditions permit – and play our full part in the cultural life of this great city and the nation, including the company’s 50th anniversary in its current home on Centenary Square in Autumn 2021 and The Commonwealth Games 2022.”

Birmingham Repertory Theatre is the oldest building-based theatre company in the country and the second city's only producing theatre.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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