Liverpool’s Royal Court receives £729,000 to secure its future
This morning, Liverpool’s Royal Court received some welcome news from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The venue has received a grant from the £250m Culture Recovery Fund that was set up to help arts venues to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus on the sector.
Prior to the pandemic, more than 90% of the income raised by Liverpool’s Royal Court came from ticket sales and subsequent food and drink sales. With current social distancing regulations reducing the capacity to around 25% of its previous 1,000 seats the venue has been unable to operate since March.
Staff have been paid by a mix of the government furlough scheme and the theatres cash reserves but both are on course to run out soon.
Today’s funding announcement is good news for suppliers as well as theatre staff, actors and musicians. It is also great news for audiences as it means the shows can go on with a scaled back, socially distanced Christmas Show planned followed by two new productions in the spring. Tickets for the Christmas show could go on sale as early as next week.
Kevin Fearon, Executive Producer at Liverpool’s Royal Court said: “This funding is hugely important to the business and is the difference between us being able to plan for an exciting future with the great team we have here and the potential closure of the theatre. We recognise this is an incredibly difficult time for the country but particularly this region, with hospitality businesses everywhere struggling to survive. The support we have been offered not only gives us the chance to give our audience that shared experience we’ve all been missing but it also means that everyone involved with the theatre and their families will be able to get through the next six months.”
Gillian Miller, the venue’s Chief Executive, said: “It’s great that DCMS have recognised Liverpool’s Royal Court with this recovery grant. As the region’s largest producing theatre and part of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio, we are looking forward to playing our part in helping to make sure Liverpool’s creative sector survives through these challenging times. We look forward to opening our doors to the public again as soon as we can and welcoming back all those who have supported us over the years and particularly over the last few months.”
Miriam Mussa, Director of Education and Participation said ‘This is tremendous news for our youth theatre, community choir and the other community groups we support. The DCMS grant will enable us to continue running our socially distanced youth theatre for young people in the theatre and from January onwards, include our partners Positive Impact, Catalyst, Capoeira for All and The Comedy Trust in the delivery of free to access activity for people living in some of the most deprived communities in the region.”