Phased reopening of Alnwick Playhouse planned, starting with popular café McKenna's

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Plans are being put in place for the gradual reopening of Alnwick Playhouse.

A specific date has not yet been announced but theatre bosses, previously been looking towards a November reopening, are planning to make a further announcement next week.

Manager Jo Potts, writing in the Playhouse newsletter, said: “The Playhouse reopening will happen in stages and start firstly with the ground floor only.

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“We are currently working with our hospitality partners McKenna’s towards making the foyer area, café and white room safe to patrons who wish to use the café.

Alnwick Playhouse.Alnwick Playhouse.
Alnwick Playhouse.

“The Playhouse Box Office will not be open in the foyer but it shall remain open online and for telephone enquiries and bookings.

“We cannot offer an exact date at this time therefore please expect a special update at the end of next week with more news.”

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The £1.57bn fund was open to cultural organisations who could prove that before Covid-19 they were financially sustainable, but which now found themselves at imminent risk of failure due to the pandemic.

"Our supporters are aware that the Playhouse had a robust business model in place, but this relied heavily on income generated from our ticket sales and secondary income from the bar and café,” explained Jo.

“Any profit from the main house programme was re-invested into arts development initiatives and subsidised ticket schemes such as ‘Pay What You Decide’.

"This funding then provides the financial support over the next six month period to ensure that by March 31, 2021 we are in a position to reopen either fully or partially (dependant on Government advice), or to operate on a sustainable, cost-efficient basis until we are able to reopen at a later date.

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"It will help us to recover financially from the massive loss of income we have suffered through closure, assist with paying our rent, our bills, our staffing costs, and help us to plan new ways of working.”

One of its ambitions to develop staff skills and technology to explore a Playhouse digital offer through the creation of digital content to share and engage with audiences online, reaching beyond the Playhouse stage and into the community.

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