Park Theatre has announced the launch of a brand new fund called Park Life, to secure the future of the venue.
Artistic Director Jez Bond managed to raise £300,000 in 48 hours from key donors, the minimum amount to keep the theatre running during the lockdown period on a skeleton staff, make use of the government’s job retention scheme to keep all others on payroll, ensure the building stays functional, and stop the theatre from liquidating.
As with all theatres across the UK, Park Theatre have had to temporarily close to help prohibit the spread of Covid-19. This has meant cancelling all performances, hires and classes for the foreseeable future. As a small charity with no regular government or Arts Council funding, this has lead to a catastrophic loss in income.
The distribution of the £300,000 raised so far will depend on when the venue is able to operate fully again, with a September opening being the preferred option. By December all funds will be considerably depleted while a 2021 reopening will mean ‘starting from scratch’.
Park Theatre are now gratefully receiving donations to the Park Life fund which will go towards:
– Covering the preparation period when venues start to open.
– Insuring against the venue having to use production funds in the case of a longer period of closure.
– Retaining some reserves depending on the length of closure to safeguard their financial future.
– Continuing to pay skeleton staff who fundraise; deal with finances, customer enquiries and refund requests and keep the venue in audiences’ minds through the use of social media.
– Building and admin based costs.
Visited by thousands every year, the Finsbury Park venue has enjoyed eight West End transfers (including Daytona starring Maureen Lipman, The Boys in the Band starring Mark Gatiss, Pressure starring David Haig and The Life I Lead starring Miles Jupp), two National Theatre transfers, twenty five national tours, five Olivier Award nominations, has won Offie Awards for Best New Play and Best Foodie Experience (two years running), a West End Wilma Achievement in Accessible Theatre award and won a Theatre of the Year award from The Stage.
“I’m humbled by the outpouring of support from our donors. Many of them are local and many have engaged with the theatre since the early days – but some are from further afield and have a relatively new association: yet each has been acutely understanding of the problem we face and incredibly generous at a time when things are tough for everybody. There is still some way to go and we are grateful for your support however large or small.” – Jez Bond, Artistic Director of Park Theatre
If you are able to donate to the Park Life Fund please visit https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/support-us/park-life-fund.