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Bristol Old Vic: a third of staff at risk of redundancy as consultations begin

The Bristol venue has issued a warning about its future

Bristol Old Vic
© Philip Vile

Bristol Old Vic has announced that a third of its staff are at risk of redundancy.

In a new statement made today, the venue said that "it is anticipated that over 20 roles from its full-time workforce of 60 could be at risk."

Artistic director Tom Morris: "Over the last 10 years, the team at Bristol Old Vic has worked with a rare passion to create inspiring work and to share this beautiful building with more and more people from Bristol and the region. This has been achieved through colossal hard work in the face of steadily declining subsidy and increasing commercial pressure.

"Our successes are entirely due to the generosity, skill and dedication of our wonderful staff, who have again and again achieved miracles with decreasing resource, and the talent and skill of the freelance artists who have worked with equal brilliance to create the programme which has rebuilt our reputation. Around this work, Bristol Old Vic staff have also worked tirelessly to reinvent our business as we completed the refurbishment of the site and reopened so joyfully in 2018.

"Such a brilliant team does not deserve this process, which is caused by the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 disaster and the forced contraction of our economy that has followed it. We are fighting to protect as many jobs as we can, but of course have to support and implement the Board's decision to prioritise the survival of the theatre so that we can regrow it healthily and once again entertain our loyal, generous and growing audiences as soon as circumstances allow."

Executive director Charlotte Geeves added: "The Government's Job Retention Scheme has kept us alive, as it has kept businesses alive in every part of the economy, and we are hopeful that the Government's Cultural Investment will support our survival further as we prepare to reopen the theatre gradually over the coming 18 months. The theatre plans to make further announcements about the programme shortly."

"There is no avoiding the fact that the current circumstances mean that we will be unable to recover the income levels we've built up over the last decade with any speed or predictability. Therefore, in order to ensure Bristol Old Vic survives and is able to emerge, we have to reshape our business."

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