A third of theatres may close without £1/2bn upgrades

More than £550m is needed in the next five years to upgrade our theatres, or a third may be forced to close, according to new Theatres Trust research.

The research, conducted in conjunction with UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre (SoLT), had responses from 148 theatres between July and September this year, 10% of active houses in the UK, which disclosed that 30% would be at risk of closure without essential works being carried out. In the last five years, the respondents have spent almost £312m on upgrading and maintenance.

Image shows Brighton Hippodrome, no 9 on the trusts's Theatres At Risk Register

If major capital projects the trust is aware of but which weren't included in responses are added, the figure would be nearer £1bn.

“Theatres of all ages and scales need continued investment to ensure they are fit for purpose and meet modern audience needs” said Jon Morgan, the trust’s director. “The theatres sector is remarkably resilient and resourceful and much of this investment is focused on generating more revenue and reducing costs so they can develop more robust business models 

“However, with falling public revenues it can be challenging to raise the capital funds required and we risk losing some of our wonderful network of theatres if funding cannot be found. Support for our theatre infrastructure must be addressed in the UK’s local and national culture, planning and regeneration strategies”.

 

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