Today’s emergency funding announcement from the Scottish Government for Capital Theatres is greatly appreciated. It is the short-term financial lifeline that we have campaigned tirelessly for in recent months, bringing us parity with many fellow performing arts venues of similar scale in Scotland. We would very much like to thank the Scottish Government for their support and recognition, acknowledging the crucial contribution our flagship theatres provide to the local, national and cultural sector economies. This will enable us to continue supporting our core staff, freelancers and communities alike.
That being said, this is very much, a long and extremely challenging road to recovery for Capital Theatres and we are still focused on securing the future of the organisation long-term. The funding we have received to date from The Scottish Government represents a very welcome contribution to our trading deficit this year. As Scotland’s largest theatre charity, recovery of this lost income is desperately needed in order for us to fully reopen the doors of our three much loved venues - The Festival Theatre, The King's Theatre and The Studio.
Importantly Capital Theatres' planned £25million redevelopment of The King’s Theatre still remains under threat. With two-thirds of the required funding in place from a range of sources, the stage was set to progress this vital historic redevelopment of national importance. However, the theatre’s development fund, a designated fund built up over many years specifically for this capital project, has needed to be utilised to enable Capital Theatres to simply function through the pandemic, therefore placing the redevelopment in a precarious position.
The stark truth is that with the pandemic trajectory continuing to significantly impact our ability to potentially open our doors well into 2021, there is still so much more that needs to be done to truly reflect the long-term scale of the crisis facing our theatres. Our objective continues to be to avoid closure of the King’s and to sustain the organisation’s venues for the long term so they can continue to play their vital role in Scotland’s year-round arts scene and support of the health and wellbeing of the many vulnerable communities we serve.
CEO, Capital Theatres