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Covid-19: impact on performing arts in Scotland

Performing arts industry body, the Federation of Scottish Theatre (FST), today released the following statement:

  • Additional funding welcome
  • Venues across Scotland to close to protect communities

Following the Chancellor’s announcement today, FST is engaging with Creative Scotland and Scottish Government on the detail of how the welcome additional funds can best support the businesses and individuals across our industry who are already suffering as a consequence of Covid-19.

We are sorry to confirm that, following the UK Government’s official advice that the public should avoid social venues including theatres, and UK Theatre/SOLT’s statement issued last night (Monday 16 March), many of FST’s member venues and theatres are closing.

FST Co-Chair Liam Sinclair, Joint CEO and Executive Director of Dundee Rep Theatre and Scottish Dance Theatre, said today:

‘Closing venues is the right thing to do to help protect our communities. It’s not an easy decision for us to make: our venues employ and contract with thousands of people all over Scotland and beyond, and there will be some hard times to face ahead. We are grateful to the people we work with and to our audiences for their support past, present and future. Our focus now is on working with the Scottish Government and wider partners on a sustainable financial package to support the sector.’

FST Co-Chair Rhona Matheson, CEO of Starcatchers, Scotland’s national arts and early years organisation, added:

‘We were delighted last month to see the First Minister’s recognition of the value of a strong culture and creative sector, and her commitment to sustaining and nurturing culture to invest in Scotland’s future cultural, social and economic success. We know how important our industry will be to bringing people back together, and back to Scotland, after this crisis, and we look forward to working with Scottish Government to action that commitment.’

FST will continue to update members regularly throughout this period.

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