Theatres Trust publishes list of venues at risk of being lost

Tom Horton, PA

The Theatres Trust has announced that 31 venues feature on its list of places at significant or immediate risk of being lost.

Only one venue has been added in 2021 to its Theatres at Risk Register, which is published annually.

The Co-op Music Hall in Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester, was new addition to the list this year.

The Co-op Music Hall (Theatres Trust/PA)
The Co-op Music Hall (Theatres Trust/PA)

The Theatres Trust said in a statement that while the coronavirus pandemic has had a “devastating” impact on the UK theatre industry, “relatively few theatre operators have ceased trading and fortunately none of the buildings left empty look to be in imminent danger”.

Other theatres featured on the list, which is in its 14th year, include the Streatham Hill Theatre in south London, Blackpool’s Winter Gardens Pavilion, the Burnley Empire in Lancashire and Dundee’s King’s Theatre.

The Theatres Trust, which is the national advisory public body for theatre, said it has seen an “emerging trend” during the pandemic where vacant theatre buildings are being put up for sale by private owners.

The Brighton Hippodrome, Liverpool’s Garston Empire, Salford Victoria in Greater Manchester and Theatr Ardudwy in Harlech, Wales, which all feature on the list, were put up for sale in the second half of last year, according to the Theatres Trust.

The organisation said in a statement it “hopes for constructive collaboration with all owners to secure a positive future for these important theatres”.

Theatres Trust director Jon Morgan said: “This past year has shown that communities value places where they can come together and that audiences miss live performances.

“While the theatre sector still has challenging days ahead, Theatres Trust believes that theatre will come back stronger than ever and that each building on the Theatres at Risk list has real potential to be a valuable asset to its community, to bring much needed footfall to its town centre and spark regeneration of its area as part of the recovery post-Covid.”

Up Next Gala 2019 – London
Gary Kemp (Ian West/PA)

Musician and actor Gary Kemp, who is a trustee for Theatres Trust, said: “As a performer I know how vital theatre buildings are, adding immeasurably to the atmosphere of a show, whether it is music or drama.

“Every building on the Theatres at Risk list is part of the UK’s cultural and social heritage, but each also holds a special position in their community and with the right support could once more be central to a sense of local pride.”

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