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The Watermill announces it was unable to apply for government bail-out and launches fundraiser

The venue was unable to apply for grants from the support package

The Watermill
© Philip Tull

The Watermill in Newbury has launched a new campaign to help generate funds after it did not qualify for the government's bail-out of venues and organisations.

The theatre, which reopened over the summer and has been staging socially distanced shows for the last few months, will be asking for audience members to help make up for the reduced capacity by donating funds.

Artistic and executive director Paul Hart said: "We are delighted to bring live theatre to The Watermill's stage once again and have loved welcoming audiences back. Undoubtedly the audience experience will look and feel quite different at the theatre this season as we have implemented lots of new measures to help with social distancing and to keep everyone safe. Unfortunately, operating in this way means we are only able to sell approximately 37 per cent of the seats in our auditorium - we usually aim to reach in excess of 80 per cent capacity to break-even.

"From the feedback we have received already, the uplifting effect that live theatre has on audiences is clear and we are determined to continue creating ambitious and exciting theatre for people of all ages to enjoy, but operating at such a reduced capacity involves a high level of financial risk. Sadly, The Watermill did not qualify for funding from the Government's £1.5 billion arts industry bailout so – now more than ever - your support towards our FULL HOUSE appeal will make a dramatic difference."

You can find out more about the fundraiser here.