We were very relieved and extremely grateful to have been awarded up to £600,000 of the Culture Recovery Fund which enabled us to pause business at The New Theatre Royal until the end of March 2021.
It was announced last year that a £1.57billion fund would be allocated to support the cultural sector across the UK. Without this, many stand-alone theatre’s like ourselves simply would not have been able to survive and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since closing its doors to the public in March 2020, The New Theatre Royal has lost a significant amount of expected revenue with the majority of our programme, both touring and in-house having to reschedule their performances. As a vital revenue stream, the postponement of our traditional Christmas pantomime until 2021 means that our financial viability still hangs in the balance. The recovery grant does not contribute to the theatre’s general cash flow and therefore customer commitment to attend shows, purchase vouchers & memberships and make donations where possible is crucial to the future of Lincoln’s Victorian gem.
The Cultural Recovery Fund has enabled us to cover essential operation costs such as rent, utilities, wages and Insurances. We also included a number of major projects into the bid. These projects included:
- An increase in the number of wheelchair accessible seating options. Small alterations to fixed seating were undertaken in order to accommodate a wider range of provision.
- Alterations and improvements on the toilet facility for DDA compliance. Our aim is to support all wheelchair users and those with limited mobility to access the building and benefit from the new accessible WC with hoist. We are also now looking to create an accessible WC backstage too.
- Pre-Covid, we purchased our former Stage Manager’s 50 year archive collection. We are working to create a digital exhibition from this, alongside the existing archive in the theatre. An application has been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund to explore a larger interactive project that will enable a digital museum experience as well as a digital archive of resources for public consumption. We are extremely excited to engage our staff, volunteers and the public whilst most importantly providing optimism and support for the treasured venue and its provenance.
The UK is the the world’s leading theatre country. The success of the theatre and performing arts industry provides us with a creative competitive advantage and a valuable asset that must be protected and enhanced for the future. Together we can achieve!