Introduction & Aims of the Survey
The Chancellor’s announcement of £1.57 billion to tackle the crisis facing the arts is welcome both in its recognition of the importance of this industry and its potential to help a recovery. However, we want to ensure that the independent theatre sector is considered in these decisions, both the challenges facing the sector as well as the important creative contribution. The independent sector has the potential to start making work soon and are able to reach communities throughout the country. This survey aimed to explore that potential and assess what support would be needed to enable it.
The report of the survey can be viewed here
Statement from ITC CEO Charlotte Jones
Thank you to the ITC members from throughout the UK and across the broad diversity of our membership who have responded to this survey. It has given us an illuminating snapshot of the sector at this extraordinary time and provided us with vital intelligence to inform our advocacy and strengthen our practical support for the sector. We have chosen to make the many of the detailed responses available in this summary report because our members have so powerfully articulated their position and statistics don’t always convey the picture so strongly.
Some of the standout statistics for us are that only 34% of respondents received emergency funding. Over half of the workers in this sector are currently furloughed and 42% of organisations expect to be making job cuts when that scheme comes to an end this Autumn.
Interestingly over half of respondents have continued to make and disseminate work either digitally or outdoors. 79% of respondents have increased their reach by this means. Most however have been providing this work for free and it is obviously not sustainable long term.
Touring is the life-blood of this sector. It has been described by many as an already broken infrastructure and there are serious concerns about how it will revive in the future. Shared risk-taking by venues will be vital to its revival.
This sector has suffered from a steep decline in core-funding for many years and a continuing reduction in project funds available. It has worked hard to generate more earned income over the past years and obviously the pandemic has brought this to a sharp standstill. This sector has the potential to revitalise its communities, is already doing important work and will require significant support to mitigate the losses it has suffered. That support will go a long way though if targeted strategically at theatre makers and artists.
The independent sector offers energy, imagination, value for money and hope for the future if properly recognised and supported. We would strongly welcome further responses to this survey. I hope you find it interesting reading.
Charlotte Jones, ITC CEO
Statement from The Chair of the ITC Board, Ali King
“Thanks to all the ITC members that were able to fill out the survey, it has shown a very interesting snapshot of the problems our sector face as a result of COVID. It clearly shows what support and help we need.
I am constantly impressed by the ongoing resilience and inventiveness of our sector and the care and consideration we show to one another.
This survey will be really useful for the team at ITC to disseminate and use to help the sector. To target areas for improvement and carry on co-ordinating a voice supporting the sectors needs and concerns. I know it has been awhile since we have all been able to come together but ITC remains as always here to help, advise and listen to its members”
Ali King, Chair of ITC