The Theatres Trust is advising venues to delay non-urgent capital works in order to prioritise the survival of their businesses.
Director of the trust Jon Morgan is urging theatres to “concentrate on their people and concentrate on their business liquidity” while doing the bare minimum to keep buildings safe and watertight.
Morgan told The Stage: “We would recommend that people postpone [capital works] if they don’t absolutely need doing this minute, because business liquidity is more important.
“That does mean at the other end of this there’s going to be a real backlog and we will do our best to support people when they come out the other side of it.
“We’re saying put off major expenditures if you can avoid them and just do the basics you need to keep your building watertight, heated to the minimum amount and secure.”
He added: “It’s true some theatres may choose to go ahead with some capital works because they have the money to do so, and because they’re dark anyway, and they might as well. We’re not recommending that, we’re just saying if you’re in that position then grand.”
Morgan also urged theatres to honour contracts to freelances wherever possible, stating that the buildings will be unable to operate without the people who keep them running and create work.
He added: “Our primary focus is not so much the buildings, it’s business continuity, because if the business is going to go under then there’s going to be no infrastructure to support the buildings.
“Our primary activity is working with UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre to lobby the government to [get] the provisions the sector needs.”