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New think tank report calls for theatre discount scheme similar to 'Eat Out to Help Out'

The findings from the Centre for London think tank aim to kickstart the arts in the capital but could be applied across the UK

The Noël Coward Theatre
© Iridescent / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

A new think tank report has called for the government to consider providing culture vouchers for theatre discounts when shows restart, similar to the current "Eat Out to Help Out" scheme.

Provided by the Centre for London, the report suggests solutions while footfall in the West End remains drastically low and the arts suffer from prolonged closure.

As published in The Guardian, the reports suggests that reduced or discounted pricing will encourage those who may not be as financially well-off to attend shows following the pandemic, and also increase spending in nearby cafes and restaurants.

Focussing on the West End, where there is a dense number of hospitality and arts employers, the scheme also proposes creating a new "London fringe" featuring outdoor performances on the city's streets.

Last month the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned that the West End faced an "existential threat" while venues remain closed and people stay away from the centre of the capital.

The Centre for London report added that empty spaces vacated by companies could be offered to artists and chefs, which in turn would provide pop-up cultural spots for locals or visitors.

It's also important to remember that while the West End draws a lot of focus, venues across the UK continue to suffer – a large scale initiative occurred last month where institutions were cast in red light to highlight the crisis.

All the rescheduled shows you can now see in 2021 / 2022