Sheffield Theatres today announces the news that it has been awarded funding as part of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, administered through Arts Council England. This money will support Sheffield Theatres to continue to create work, connect with audiences and make further adaptations to the buildings in preparation for the Lyceum and Studio theatres reopening next year.
Dan Bates, Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres said:
“We are over the moon to be given this funding – it’s a vital lifeline that will enable us to continue to make bold and brilliant theatre in Sheffield on our stages and online, to provide employment to artists and theatre professionals, many of whom have been without work for most of this year. This funding will also support us to further adapt our buildings and three performance spaces as we look towards a full reopening next year. We are hugely grateful to DCMS, HM Treasury and Arts Council England for this funding.
The last seven months have been incredibly challenging. Since March when we had close due to the pandemic, we have lost all our income from audiences, which equates to 89% of our turnover. My team have worked tirelessly to ensure we could reopen again and I am so thankful to them for their creativity and resilience. We can now look to the future with the security of knowing that this funding will sustain us until March 2021.”
Robert Hastie, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, added:
“Next week we will open Here’s What She Said to Me, the first full production of the Together Season: a programme of work that offers audiences a brilliant, safe and socially distanced live experience in the Crucible theatre. We’ve conceived this season, with limited resources, because we believe that the work that we create with and for our communities and the act of being together to experience great theatre can and will make a difference to how our city gets through the pandemic and how we ultimately recover.
This funding is the support we need to cement our plans to create more work next year, and in doing so commit to working with freelance artists and creatives as well as our own team of highly skilled makers and technicians. It enables us to continue to welcome audiences through our doors and to reach people online; it enables us to invest in our communities, creating projects and events that bring people joy and bring people together.
In our application we highlighted the inter-connectivity of theatre in this country, how the existence of a well-funded network of people, companies and venues deserves support and thrives for everyone when it’s invested in. So we’re thrilled to read today of good news for colleagues around the region and the country. Publicly funded support is how work like Everybody’s Talking About Jamie goes from an idea to a commission to a workshop to a three week run in Sheffield to three years in the West End, followed by national tours, international productions and a movie adaptation, altogether employing thousands and entertaining hundreds of thousands. Sheffield Theatres benefits from partnerships with community groups, with local companies, with touring companies, with commercial producers and, above all, with the thousands of freelance individuals whose talents and energies ARE British theatre.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“As part of our unprecedented £1.57 billion rescue fund, today we're saving British cultural icons with large grants of up to £3 million – from Shakespeare's Globe to the Sheffield Crucible. These places and organisations are irreplaceable parts of our heritage and what make us the cultural superpower we are. This vital funding will secure their future and protect jobs right away."
Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:
“The Culture Recovery Fund has already helped hundreds of organisations, of all types and sizes, in villages, towns and cities across the country. It has provided a lifeline that will allow these organisations to continue to play an integral role in their communities and produce new artistic work that will entertain and inspire us all.
“This latest funding, which are the largest grants to date, will support some of the country’s most loved and admired cultural spaces – from great regional theatres and museums to historic venues in the capital – which are critical to the development of a new generation of talent and in providing work for freelance creatives.”
The Culture Recovery Fund is designed to sustain cultural organisations through the significant financial impact of Covid 19, providing support through to March 2021. This government funding follows the Arts Council’s Emergency Response Fund, which addressed the impact of the immediate closure of theatres earlier this year. Sheffield Theatres was awarded £675k in the ERF to cover losses incurred from March to September this year.
Sheffield Theatres will open its Together Season next week with Here’s What She Said to Me, a coproduction with resident company, Utopia Theatre. The season also includes Imelda Staunton, Maxine Peake and Tamsin Grieg’s Talking Heads monologues, fresh from London’s Bridge theatre, and Damian’s Pop-up Panto, providing all of the festive cheer Sheffield audiences have come to expect from panto legend Damian Williams.
Sheffield Theatres will present the Together Season in the Crucible where a number of measures have been introduced to create a COVID-Secure environment. Customers are provided with e-tickets and an arrival time to enable a contactless and well managed entry to the building. Everyone has their temperature checked and is required to wear a face mask for the duration of their visit and within the auditorium, seats are spaced at 1m+ distance in bubbles of 1, 2 or 3. These safety measures have been welcomed by audiences and by Sheffield City Council with whom the Theatres continue to liaise to remain responsive to the latest guidance and priorities.