Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre has become the latest organisation to announce it is entering redundancy negotiations, in a move that will affect a third of its permanent staff.
The theatre has also revealed it will remain closed until 2021.
A joint statement from chair of the board John Elvidge and chief executive Linda Crooks said it was not financially viable to open its performance spaces to audiences while social distancing continues.
The Traverse is currently applying for the Scottish government’s Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund, but it will still have to restructure its organisation, remodel its work and reduce costs to ensure its survival.
Elvidge and Crooks said that they have had to take the "painfully difficult decision" to start redundancy negotiations with staff in customer-facing and technical roles, "with the likelihood that almost a third of our staff will be made redundant". The Traverse Theatre has 28 permanent roles, with 11 of these roles at risk of redundancy.
They added: "We have worked tirelessly to explore all possible avenues and prevent this awful situation, but we currently have no other choice in order to protect the future of the Traverse and the vibrant organisation on which our community relies."
The theatre closed on March 21 due to Covid-19 restrictions, losing at least two-thirds of its earned income. The cancellation of its key Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme was announced on April 1.
It is currently running a 16-week series of online workshops to support writers through the process of having an initial idea for a script to creating a draft, for potential submission to its Open Submission programme.
The latest statement explains that it is not financially viable for the Traverse to present performances as it would not have enough seats safely available to cover costs or be able to offer affordable tickets.
It expects to remain closed to audiences "until the end of 2020 at the earliest".
Elvidge and Crooks said the redundancies will leave the Traverse with a small core group, "who are tasked with creating opportunities for our organisation to come back stronger and to oversee delivery across our work in engagement, talent development and creativity".
They added that the theatre "remains committed to a future of developing writers and supporting creatives at all stages of their careers, discovering new voices by engaging with our community, audiences and freelance artists, here in our city and across the globe”.
Earlier this week, the Royal Opera House, LW Theatres and the Southbank Centre also revealed redundancy plans.