One of Britain’s largest theatre operators is planning a series of redundancies as the industry remains closed following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) operates some of the UK’s best-known venues including Bristol Hippodrome, London’s Lyceum Theatre, Swansea Arena, Sunderland Empire, Manchester’s Palace Theatre and The Alexandra in Birmingham.
The company has confirmed it is currently consulting with around five per cent of its UK workforce.
ATG said the majority of jobs would be cut from its head office in London and Woking, rather than in its venues around the UK.
A spokesperson said: “ATG has begun a consultation period with a small number of individuals representing approximately five per cent of the overall UK headcount.
“The majority work in the UK Head office on Charing Cross Road, London and in Woking.”
ATG also said zero-hours staff would continue to be supported by the Government’s furlough scheme until the end of August, but added that arrangements beyond this date had not been confirmed.
The Government has pledged £1.57billion to the theatre industry to help it weather the impact of coronavirus.
Thousands of organisations across a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will be able to access emergency grants and loans.
The money represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, according to the Government.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “From iconic theatre and musicals, mesmerising exhibitions at our world-class galleries to gigs performed in local basement venues, the UK’s cultural industry is the beating heart of this country.
“This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down.”
The news comes as companies across the country are making cuts to their workforce as the impact of the pandemic and subsequent UK lockdown takes its toll.
Thousands of people in Britain find themselves at risk of redundancy – across all sectors.
A raft of big businesses are among firms making reductions, including Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, British Airways and Royal Mail.