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Birmingham Rep to begin redundancy consultations which may impact 40 per cent of roles

The venue has said that 80 per cent of its income has been lost

Birmingham Rep
© Ross Jukes

Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the oldest building-based theatre company in the UK, has announced that up to 40 per cent of roles may be danger of redundancy.

The venue has stated that, despite the government's package announced last weekend, it simply does not know when it will be able to reopen and as such will have to enter into consultations.

Executive Director Rachael Thomas, and artistic director Sean Foley, commented: "Our role as custodians of this much-loved theatre, with its historic legacy, is to ensure that it survives the COVID-19 pandemic. Even after the new measures are taken into account, we believe that survival is threatened if we do not act now. We could still be facing many months of being unable to trade and must therefore take action to mitigate the loss of income by reducing our costs.

"Whilst we are prioritising our work in creative learning, community engagement, and our wider civic mission during this time, this re-organisation will protect the DNA of The REP as a producing theatre.

"We are incredibly proud of the way our staff have responded to the COVID-19 crisis and want to thank them for their fortitude and spirit at this most difficult of times. We recognise and applaud all those that have volunteered – or are volunteering – in our community to support the NHS or those who are vulnerable in our society.

"We are confident that The REP will be able to continue to make a key contribution to the civic and cultural renaissance of Birmingham over the next few years. We intend to return – when trading conditions permit – and play our full part in the cultural life of this great city and the nation, including the Company's 50th anniversary in its current home on Centenary Square in Autumn '21 and The Commonwealth Games '22."

Well over 150 individuals worked at the theatre at the beginning of 2020, though that number may have dropped following redundancy consultations in February.

Earlier this week culture secretary Oliver Dowden said that outdoor performances would be permitted from this weekend, but gave no indication when indoor shows may return.

Find out more about the Government's new package