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Royal Exchange Manchester says it might have to 'make up to 65 per cent of permanent roles redundant'

The theatre has said it suffered heavy losses during the pandemic

The Royal Exchange
© Joel Fildes

Royal Exchange in Manchester has said it might have to "make up to 65% of permanent roles redundant".

In a statement on the venue's site they said: "At the moment, we simply can't trade, as live performances are not allowed in theatres. Even if we were allowed to open, whilst there are still social distancing measures in place, it is just not financially viable within our current structure."

"Over recent years we have been successful in reducing our dependence on public subsidy, which now equates to less than 25 per cent of our £10 million annual turnover. As such, the impact of lockdown and our ability to operate commercially has been, and will continue to be, considerable.

Artistic director Bryony Shanahan said: "It's been heart-breaking to come to the realisation that this is the action we have no choice but to take. Our staff are dedicated, talented, loyal and they don't deserve this – and neither do the thousands of people in our industry who are facing job loss and uncertainty.

"It is an awful time for us all, and it's also hugely frustrating that government support simply hasn't reached us in time, despite clear warning signals and cries for help. Access to culture for all should not be a luxury but a right, and so we must value it as such as we heal and move forward from this time."

Artistic director: "The only way through this tremendously difficult time is to have unwavering optimism; keeping our eyes firmly on the goal of building again a vibrant hub of creativity and connection for Greater Manchester. This catastrophe sadly forces us to change drastically to brace the world's uncertainty but we look further ahead with hope to becoming a theatre which benefits more people than ever before, brings our community relationships into sharper focus, and helps us to employ and sustain more talent in the future.

"Theatre will survive because as human beings we crave stories to make sense of our existence and imagination will help us to create a future. Our Engagement work with community participants never stopped during Lockdown, and we have been committed to people remaining connected with us and each other. We have learnt through this time that we can do and be so much more for the people of this great city. Theatre, arts and culture will be needed more than ever to support our collective recovery. When we eventually open our doors, we will be a pillar of strength, love and resilience for all."

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