City council issued a blunt warning about impact of coronavirus on the city’s arts and culture organisations
Newcastle’s theatres and independent cinemas could be forced to close permanently because of coronavirus and the lockdown, the city council has warned.
The Theatre Royal, the Tyne Theatre and the Tyneside Cinema have all been identified as being at risk.
And the council urged the Government to step in and save cultural businesses and organisations from closure.
The council said: “For the arts and culture sector it the impact is not far short of catastrophic.”
In a paper submitted to the House of Commons, Newcastle City Council said: “While the organisations that are in receipt of public funding, largely through Arts Council England, have been somewhat protected and may have to dig into their reserves for survival and suffer further losses in reductions of philanthropic donations, receiving houses such as the Theatre Royal and Tyne Theatre alongside the independent arthouse Tyneside Cinema are under real threat of closure.”
And it said: “We are seriously looking at the potential (and in some cases likely) closure of some of our most celebrated venues.
“We are facing the possibility that for a long time we may have no concerts, theatre, independent cinema and without Government intervention many of the venues will simply close.
“As a result of this both the economic and tourism impact for the City will be greatly affected.”
The authority wrote to a House of Commons inquiry, whose members include Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott, which today published a report warning that a crisis in the culture sector will lead to “mass redundancies and the permanent closure of our cultural infrastructure”…