Tyne & Wear

Coronavirus: Sage Gateshead begins job loss consultation

Sage Gateshead
Image caption Sage Gateshead has been closed since lockdown began but is hoping to return to live music in a "socially distanced way"

One of north-east England's biggest music venues has begun a redundancy trawl, with 180 jobs likely to be axed.

Sage Gateshead said it was facing a projected £10m loss as a result of its closure due to the pandemic.

Most of its 500 staff have been on the government furlough scheme since lockdown began.

Widespread support, including a positive response to a fundraising campaign was not enough to mitigate the losses, it said.

'Great regret'

A spokesperson for the charity said: "Each and every one of our team is highly skilled and committed and all have played a huge part in the success of our organisation to date.

"It is of great regret that any of these roles are at risk."

The recent announcement of a £1.57bn government support package for the arts was not intended as a "wholesale bail out", but about helping venues "get through the immediate crisis".

Sage Gateshead was planning a "smaller, more flexible autumn season to reconnect with audiences as a return to live music making in a safe and socially distanced way".

The spokesperson added: "We know that music and culture have a role to play in the city and the region's recovery and we are determined to contribute to this."

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