How local authorities can support Theatres at Risk

To support theatres on the Theatres at Risk register, the Theatres Trust urges local authorities, heritage organisations, theatre operators and theatre campaign groups / friends to work together to protect theatres at risk and find a way to restore them for use by their communities.

We appreciate that local authorities face financial challenges but supporting a local theatre doesn’t always have to involve huge capital outlay or an ongoing revenue funding commitment.

Support can be provided through other practical considerations such as:

  • Reviewing the economic and social benefits of a theatre when making any decision about its future
  • Ensuring the inclusion of culture within local plans to promote and encourage new venues and protect existing buildings.
  • Offering full support to community groups campaigning to get buildings back into use – this can be as simple as support through planning or through putting their support behind funding bids
  • Intervening to prevent deterioration of listed buildings through repairs notices.
  • Providing assistance to groups to investigate the viability of their theatre and develop proposals – for example undertaking viability studies
  • Offering theatre campaign and community groups leases with a reasonable length and conditions, to enable them to secure funding from other partners
  • Offering affordable rents to operators that want to develop the theatres as future performance spaces / retain them for performance use.
  • Offering capital grants and / or loans to support capital works projects. 

We would encourage any local authorities to get in touch with us to find out how these might work in their cases – whether it is supporting a theatre on our Theatres at Risk list or acting now to protect a local theatre for the future.

Go to Theatres at Risk.