England

Coronavirus: Jobs could go at Sheffield and York theatres

Lyceum Theatre Sheffield Image copyright Dave Hudson/Geograph
Image caption The Lyceum Theatre will remain shut until next spring

Nearly a third of staff at Sheffield Theatres face redundancy after it was announced venues will not fully reopen until next spring due to the pandemic.

The group, which runs the Crucible and Lyceum, said it would only run "pop up" performances and as such would see a 57% reduction in audiences.

A consultation is under way and 72 out of 248 staff could be made redundant.

York Theatre Royal has also started discussions about making staff redundant to "ensure its survival".

Both Sheffield Theatres and York Theatre Royals said they generated 89% of their own income and the inability to sell tickets, programmes, food and drink has had a huge impact on its finances.

Dan Bates, Sheffield Theatres chief executive, said he was "heartbroken" that they were having to look at reducing staff.

Image copyright Stephen Richards/Geograph
Image caption Tom Bird, executive director at York Theatre Royal, said there were some "very difficult decisions" to make

He said as well as potential redundancies, they were looking at all staff reducing their hours of work.

"Although this is a hard sacrifice for everyone, we believe it will help us to keep as many people employed as possible."

He added: "I'd like to thank our team for their loyalty and grace during this extremely challenging period."

Tom Bird, executive director at York, said all the leadership team had taken "big pay cuts and we have maximised our use of government schemes".

Mr Bates said the Lyceum and Studio venues would shut until next year and the "pop up" performances would be held outside and inside the Crucible.

Shows that were scheduled for the Lyceum, Studio and Crucible through to February 2021 have either been cancelled or postponed, including Sleeping Beauty, which has been moved to Christmas 2021.

Robert Hastie, artistic director, said: "The effect on everyone who would have made this work happen, our brilliant staff team here and our wonderful freelance colleagues is devastating."

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