Joy and relief as Alnwick Playhouse celebrates £200,000 lifeline from Culture Recovery Fund
Alnwick Playhouse is celebrating news of a £200,000 lifeline that will help to safeguard its future.
The venue was awarded £197,688 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Playhouse manager Jo Potts said the pandemic has had a huge impact on the venue and the new funding brought ‘joy and relief’.
She said: “Covid-19 is having a devastating impact on the theatre industry, especially for organisations like Alnwick Playhouse, where 92% of our income comes from tickets and related sales.
"Our revenue stopped overnight when we were forced into closure and securing financial support for the Playhouse became a priority.
“The news of this funding has brought joy and relief to everyone as it will help us survive the financial implications of closure and also help us to navigate new socially distanced ways in which to continue as the creative and social hub for our community.
"A socially distanced programme reduces our audiences to only 60 people and so we have an ambition to develop new staff skills and technology to explore a digital offer which can extend far beyond the Playhouse stage.
"We shall also be working in partnership with other Northumberland venues, Queens Hall, Hexham and The Maltings, Berwick towards a joined up digital project celebrating Northumberland at Christmas.”
"In the opening week in January we welcomed over 3,000 people through the doors with a diverse programme of live performances which have since been postponed or cancelled,” said Jo.
"To close so soon after reopening was of course necessary but devastating for everyone who invested into transforming the old building into a wonderful community hub.
"This vital new funding is gratefully received and most reassuring to our community, partners and valued supporters that the Playhouse will survive for future generations to come.”
Three more Northumberland venues have received a combined £357,000 through the fund. The Vindolanda Trust receives £250,000, Allenheads Contemporary Arts gets £57,000 and Tynedale Fine Art Products Ltd gets £50,000.