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York Theatre Royal receives lifeline grant 

York’s popular Theatre Royal has received a lifeline boost from the Governments £1.57 billion Culture Recover Fund.

The theatre won £236,522 from the Government pot, which will assist them looking ahead to the future.

Executive Director, Tom Bird, said: “We are delighted that our application has been successful. The Cultural Recovery Fund gives much needed financial support to enable us to continue to work behind the scenes and plan for a sustainable reopening.

“This is great news for our whole community and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back into the theatre as soon as we are able.”

York Theatre Royal, image accredited to York Theatre Royal

In addition, a grant was provided by the Arts Council England Emergency Fund, which alongside the government funding, will aid the Theatre Royal as they faced economic uncertainty due to 89% of their annual income being generated through ticket revenue.

Currently, the government addressed that theatres can reopen to the public under reduced capacity from August. As the West End plans to reopen in November, both the Grand Opera House and York Theatre Royal are yet to reopen as they have remained closed since 17th March.

Despite uncertainty as to when they will reopen, Theatre Royal has thanked people who have pledged ahead through paying forward £15, which can be used towards a ticket once they safely reopen their doors to the public.

York Theatre Royal
#LightItInRed, Image accredited to York Theatre Royal

Venues across the UK, including the Theatre Royal have taken part within the ‘#LightItInRed’ campaign to raise awareness of the issues facing the industry.

Bird confidently addressed theatre-goers, saying: “The theatre can survive this, and we will make sure that when we are able to re-open our doors, York Theatre Royal will come roaring back.”

Josh Benson
Josh Benson, accredited to York Theatre Royal

In the meantime, performances have adapted by creating a travelling pantomime. Visiting 21 of York’s wards, audiences can decide which tale takes place before each show, from options of Aladdin, Dick Whittington and Jack and the Beanstalk.

Award-winning pantomime writer, Paul Hendy is creating three scripts which will feature a local cast, including much-loved magician Josh Benson.

Tickets go on sale in November. Further details and dates will be announced soon and can be found on their website.