Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Coronavirus: Yorkshire music and sports venues face closure

Sheffield City Hall Image copyright David Dixon / Geograph
Image caption The Sheffield City Hall music venue has been closed since March

Music and sports venues in Yorkshire are to be mothballed and staff are facing redundancy because of the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

A number of venues will remain shut, including Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield Arena, Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion, owners Sheffield City Trust (SCT) said.

The Covid-19 lockdown has left it in a "critical position", SCT said.

It has "begun a consultation process which may lead to redundancies".

Many of the SCT's 750 employees have been on the government's furlough scheme since March.

In a letter sent to staff seen by the BBC, the trust said that when the scheme changes in August "there will be increased financial burden to employers' and in our current position we are unable to sustain further financial pressure."

Image copyright Richard Croft / Geograph
Image caption The Sheffield Area hosts concerts and sports events and has a capacity of 13,600 people

SCT chief executive Andrew Snelling said the leisure and entertainment industry was facing "very challenging times".

"It has become apparent that concerts, shows and large attendance events will not be possible in the short and medium term, so this leaves us with decisions to make regarding how we sustain venues such as Sheffield Arena and Sheffield City Hall," he said.

"There are also specific issues with some of our sporting facilities, which means it may not be viable to open them safely even after we receive the go ahead.

"It is not a decision that has been taken lightly but venues that are generating no income will only need a much-reduced workforce to carry out essential maintenance while they are mothballed awaiting a change in circumstances."

SCT said it was awaiting further detailed information on the government's recently announced £1.57bn emergency support package to help protect the future of UK cultural venues.

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