Local authority cuts ‘a growing threat’, warns TMA president

Rachel Tackley with SOLT/TMA chief executive Julian Bird at the ceremony. Photo: Alastair Muir
by -

Theatrical Management Association president Rachel Tackley has warned of “increasing cuts from local authorities” to regional theatres, and called on leading industry figures to continue campaigning for investment in the sector.

Tackley was addressing attendees at the TMA’s Theatre Awards UK ceremony during her opening speech.

She said: “The TMA sees it as a priority to continue to campaign for strong local and national investment for our theatres and theatre companies, and looks forward to working with you all on this important aspect over the coming year.”

After paying tribute to the strength of the performing arts industry nationwide, Tackley warned of the “worsening” funding situation for arts organisations.

She said: “[We] recognise that the situation for performing arts in the UK is getting more difficult – difficult due to the ongoing economic downturn, but also difficult due to the increasing cuts from local authorities for local arts and culture provision.”

She also explained that, based on box office figures collected by the TMA from last year, UK theatre attracts “in excess of 30 million [attendances at shows] each year”.Tackley compared this figure to the number of people attending professional football matches, which she claimed was lower, and insisted this proved theatre-going was “far from an elitist activity”.