A “catastrophic” loss of income faced by the Park Theatre in north London has prompted a fundraising campaign to secure its future.
The theatre, in Finsbury Park, said it had already managed to raise £300,000 from donors, and described this as the minimum amount needed to keep the theatre running during lockdown. It said this money would support a skeleton staff and ensure the building stays functional, keeping the theatre from going into liquidation.
Now, artistic director Jez Bond has launched a fundraising campaign to support the venue for a period of three-months, after which it would hope to be able to reopen.
“With no income generated during this time we will still need to pay staff, rehearse a production in each theatre, generate an audience, resume our community work and other areas of activity,” the theatre said in a statement.
Money from its fundraising will also insure against the venue having to use production funds in the case of a longer period of closure as well as retain some reserves depending on the length of closure to safeguard its financial future.
“Nobody knows how long the pandemic is going to go on, and some money needs to be held back to protect future endeavours that could be delayed,” the statement said.
The funds will also allow the theatre to continue to pay skeleton staff, and cover building and admin-based costs.
“As a small charity with no government or Arts Council funding, this [theatre closures] has led to a catastrophic loss of income. The venue has been working closely with the board and donors to try to address the shortfall,” it said in the statement.
According to the theatre, the distribution of the £300,000 raised so far will depend on when the venue is able to operate fully.
Reopening by September will allow it to retain production funds and the reserves it has built over seven years.
If opening is delayed until December there will still be some monies in the production fund and some reserves, “although this will be considerably depleted”, the theatre warned.
If opening is delayed until early 2021, the Park Theatre will have exhausted all funds “so will need to start from scratch” to build up its activities and financial stability. This would put in-house shows on hold.
Bond said: “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.”
Its campaign has attracted support from the likes of Ian McKellen and Imelda Staunton.