We will be back
Strode Theatre is extremely grateful to have been supported during this crisis by the National Lottery, through BFI Film Audience Network, the Friends of Strode Theatre, Strode College, Street Parish Council and of course our patrons and supporters. This support, combined with the generosity of those who have waived a refund, made one-off and recurring donations, participated in our digital programme and responded to surveys and polls, has kept Strode Theatre going.
Only around 5% of Strode Theatre’s annual costs are met by public funding. We therefore rely almost completely on our loyal community, who in normal times attend over 550 events each year as audience members, use our bar and cafe facilities daily and hire our spaces for performances and events. The loss of income from these activities at the beginning of lockdown put Strode Theatre at risk of immediate and permanent closure. The generosity of our supporters and donors, combined with the government Job Retention Scheme, has meant we could continue, albeit in a digital format, until now.
With the Job Retention Scheme closing at the end of October, no clear picture yet on what new public funding might reach us, and a quite understandable reluctance of audiences locally and nationally to return to auditoria, Strode Theatre must remain closed.
As a consequence, we have taken the heart-breaking decision to enter redundancy consultations with our staff, with the expectation that we will need to reduce staff costs to almost zero, mothball the theatre, and prepare for a time when it is safe for audiences to return, and our patrons are happy to do so.
Our staff – in the office, on stage, behind the bar, at the tech desk and in the box office, permanent and casual, paid and voluntary – are the soul of Strode Theatre. They have risen to the challenges presented by COVID-19 with extraordinary adaptability, ingenuity and level-headedness and we are extremely grateful to them all.
This decision has been taken in order to secure the long-term future of Strode Theatre. It is a temporary closure. The Theatre will open again to bring people together around incredible arts, culture, creativity and entertainment. We will keep you updated on those plans.< Back