RSC secures £ 19.4million loan as layoffs loom

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The Royal Shakespeare Company announced today (Friday) that the company has won a request for repayable funding from the government’s Culture Stimulus Fund. The £ 19.4million loan will help secure the Company’s immediate future amid the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the theater industry.

However, he also said layoffs were imminent, with a potential loss of 17 percent of its permanent workforce.

The company has not been able to stage full productions since the start of the pandemic, resulting in an expected 86% loss of revenue outside of the grant from RSC Arts Council England (ACE), a loss of approximately £ 46 million for the current financial year. Throughout the crisis, RSC used its reserves and ACE grant to support the business of the company, as well as fundraising income from funders, donors and partners as well as donations. from the public, members and patrons as part of the Keep Your RSC campaign.

CBC (43513842)

The RSC has also put up to 90% of its staff on leave, benefiting from the government’s coronavirus job retention program, and is coming to the end of a formal consultation with staff on layoffs and job changes. terms and conditions.

Since the temporary closure of the RSC theaters in March, the company has retained at the heart of its profession a troupe of 35 independent actors and directors, has continued to support young people and teachers through its large-scale educational action, celebrated the power of of Shakespeare through initiatives such as #shareyourShakespeare, hosted free summer outdoor performances in his gardens in Stratford-upon-Avon, spoke about Shakespeare online with alumni and RSC audiences and broadcast productions for free on iPlayer.

This repayable funding will ensure the Company’s financial stability in the short term by helping the CBC to:

• stage Tales for Winter, the current live performance program

• open full productions in Stratford-upon-Avon and London in spring 2021

• continue essential education work in schools and communities in collaboration with 11 regional theater partners across the country supporting hundreds of thousands of young people

• resume national tours with RSC partner theaters

• work with business partners to invest in new productions that can generate potential income for the Company

• deliver a major work as part of the Cité de la Culture in Coventry 2021

• Capture the rest of Shakespeare’s canon with live movie broadcasts that are shown to schools for free

As the company’s work program expands, RSC will be able to engage a significant number of independent actors, musicians and creative team members alongside the main -permanent work of the RSC.

RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran (43513844)
RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran (43513844)

Commenting on the announcement, Gregory Doran, Artistic Director, and Catherine Mallyon, Executive Director, said: Strong support. It has been reassuring to see the thousands of businesses across the country receiving crucial grants over the past few weeks. They are the lifeblood of communities, support the local economy and enable strong health and well-being in our cities.

“These continue to be difficult times for theaters large and small, and for all those in the arts and culture sector. We are very grateful for the support we have received from our audiences, donors and partners, but with no regular income from our work on stage, and currently no confirmed date for the full reopening of theaters, we have to look forward to another future.

“The funding will help RSC recover and in the medium term reopen our Swan and The Other Place theaters which will remain closed in 2021. All of our activity will increase the work available for our core freelance workforce, who in turn supports the arts and culture industry at large.

“The loan agreement requires that we be financially viable by the end of the 2021/22 fiscal year so that we can move forward towards the repayment of the loan, as well as the interest it will accumulate. Rather than being a grant, it provides cash to help pay for our essential expenses during the crisis.

“Even when we fully reopen, it will take time to return to pre-pandemic income levels. We will need to continue saving, as well as replenishing income, to cover loan repayments, which will not be completed until 2040. This unfortunately means that we need to complete our formal consultation with staff on the proposed layoffs and layoffs. changes to our terms and conditions. Combined with the loss of work and lack of income support for many of our freelance colleagues, this is a source of deep regret.

Read more about this story in Thursday’s Herald.




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