The Mercury Theatre Colchester has today announced that it is joining forces with performing arts venues across the country as part of the national #SaveOurTheatres campaign.
Launched by the Theatres Trust, the campaign aims to prevent the permanent closure of hundreds of UK theatres through raising awareness and vital funds.
The #SaveOurTheatres campaign, announced on Tuesday 8 September, highlights the very real risk facing theatres and performing arts venues due to the COVID19 pandemic.
From the advent of lockdown in March, arts houses across Britain saw their main source of income disappear in an instant, when they were forced to close their doors, cancel shows and suspend ticket sales. The ongoing uncertainty around when and how these much loved organisations can reopen again, safely, and in a financially viable way, has put many at risk of permanent closure.
The Mercury Theatre was in the midst of a £9.8 million capital redevelopment project when lockdown came into play, causing significant delays to the building work taking place on the Balkerne Gate site.
Pretty much overnight, the Mercury lost £2.9 million of projected income for 2020. This was going to be the most transformational year for our theatre, as we were due to reopen our extended and refurbished venue to the local community with a host of incredible shows and events. But COVID-19 has given us our biggest ever challenge, and while other industries are re-opening with services able to return to something close to normal, the future of indoor venues and theatres is still very much uncertain.Steve Mannix, Mercury Theatre Executive Director
The government’s £1.5 billion Cultural Recovery Fund package announced in July will go some way to support struggling organisations, but as the government themselves have recognised, the package will not stretch far enough to give every organisation what they need. Theatre’s Trust has recognised that a national campaign is now needed to raise funds and awareness for these economy enhancing organisations, and have collaborated with Crowdfunder, the digital funding platform, in a bid to make that happen.
Steve Mannix continues:
We are excited to be part of the Theatres Trust national initiative. It is so important for the industry to have a collective voice at a time like this, and we want to make sure we are leading the campaign in the East. We cannot wait to welcome our audiences and community back into our new building as soon as it is safe to do so, but until then we ask anyone who has ever enjoyed a show, been to a workshop, or seen their children flourish in our youth theatres or summer schools, to help in any way they can through the Crowdfunder donation platform. Now is the time to help your theatre. The support to date from the public has been wonderful and we are very proud to be part of such a loving community, but we still have quite a journey before we can reopen.
Crowdfunder is a benefits based fundraising platform where individuals can choose to give a level of support and receive something special as a thank you.
To see the options available and support the Mercury Theatre as part of this campaign, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/supportmercurytheatre, and join the conversation on social media using #SaveOurTheatres.