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Covid: Sage Gateshead axes more than 100 jobs

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image captionSage Gateshead described the decision as tough and said it was made with "deep regret"

More than 100 jobs are to be axed at one of north-east England's biggest music venues.

Sage Gateshead is a hub for the performing arts, home to the Royal Northern Sinfonia, it has hosted concerts including Sting and Blondie.

It has been closed since lockdown began, and faces a projected £10m loss.

Most of its 500 staff have been on the government's furlough scheme, but following a consultation it said 110 were to be made redundant.

It said despite a good response to a fundraising campaign, the decision was necessary to protect its future.

The organisation now awaits the outcome of its application to the government's £1.57bn arts recovery fund, which is due in coming weeks.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionSting, who was born in nearby Wallsend, has performed at the Sage a number of times
  • The £70m glass and steel building opened in 2004
  • Designed by Sir Norman Foster it consists of three performance spaces and rehearsal rooms
  • Home to the Royal Northern Sinfonia
  • Concerts include rock, pop, jazz, dance, and hip hop
  • Hosted artists including: Blondie, James Brown, Mumford and Sons and Nancy Sinatra
  • Sting was joined by 700 schoolchildren for a performance of his Last Ship album
  • Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the National Union of Students have held conferences there
  • In 2019 it hosted an attempt to break the world record for the largest cream tea

A spokesperson said: "We have done absolutely everything we can to avoid this situation.

"Each and every one of the team are highly skilled and dedicated, and it is with deep regret that 110 of our friends and colleagues will be leaving us.

"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.

"Our goal throughout this process of consultation, therefore, was to ensure that the organisation has a team which can deliver for people and communities as part of this Covid-19 recovery."

It recently announced there would be a seven-week series of live performances from 23 October, with the safety of audiences, artists and staff had been at the forefront of planning.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionIn 2019 it played host to an attempt to break the world record for the largest cream tea

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  • Coronavirus: Sage Gateshead loses half yearly turnover