Exeter Northcott Theatre’s lack of funding puts student jobs at risk
Exeter Northcott Theatre’s application for emergency funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been rejected, making redundancies likely for over 50 per cent of its staff.
The theatre applied for financial support from Art Council England’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, but the appeal was rejected due to their “relatively stable financial position.” The funding scheme was established to help organisations that were unlikely to survive until September 2020.
We are left with no option but to start the first stage of consultations with staff about the probability of over 50 per cent redundancies.
In a statement posted on Exeter Northcott’s website, the theatre said that due to lack of funding, they have been forced to cancel all performances scheduled for their autumn and winter 2020 seasons. It has cancelled more than 200 performances due to the pandemic – a financial loss the theatre has estimated to be just under £2m.
As a result, it has been “left with no option but to start the first stage of consultations with staff about the probability of over 50 per cent redundancies.”
The theatre has around 50 employees, 20 per cent of which are students working in part-time, front of house roles in the the View Restaurant and bar.
Exeter Northcott’s staff have been receiving pay from the government’s HMRC Furlough Scheme, but the Chancellor announced in May that the scheme will come to an end in October.
This statement was posted on the theatre’s website:
“The management and Trustees of the theatre would like to express their admiration for, and solidarity with the theatre’s amazing staff team who have worked wonders to make the Northcott such a success and now find themselves caught up in this awful situation.”
Exeter Northcott was saved from closure in 2010 when it was bought by the University of Exeter, who house the theatre on their Streatham Campus.