The Torch Theatre is pleased to share the news that it has been successful in its application for emergency financial support from the Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales, as part of the Wales Cultural Recovery Fund.
These vital funds will provide an essential lifeline, securing the short-term future of the Torch, between now and the end of the financial year in March. The funding will allow the theatre to maintain basic operations; to retain its remaining workforce; and to cover overhead costs, bridging the financial shortfall following the ongoing loss of virtually all earned income.
In what has been a very difficult year for the Torch and its community, this much welcomed news comes amidst the ongoing devastating impact of Covid-19 across sectors including the arts. The theatre closed its doors to the public in March and although the plan was to reopen from early November, this has now been put back due to the new increase in Covid infection rates across Wales and the Welsh Government’s forthcoming ‘Fire Break’ Lockdown.
In receiving the news of the funding from the Arts Council of Wales, the Torch Theatre’s Executive Director, Ben Lloyd, said, “The Torch Theatre are grateful beneficiaries of the ACW Cultural Recovery Fund. This funding is a lifeline for the Torch and guarantees that we can continue to operate through the rest of the financial year and crucially, secures the positions of our remaining staff until the end of March 2021. We thank the Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales for this essential intervention which will also allow us to: trial activity as we adapt to living with Covid; to continue to support our artists, freelancers and our community via every avenue available to us; and to seek to deliver our artistic programme in new and innovative ways.”
As a not-for-profit, registered charity, the grant is extremely timely as the theatre was preparing for further financial challenges and difficult decisions with the end of Government’s Job Retention Scheme and the continued loss of income from ticket sales. Ben added, “I would like to thank all our patrons, our staff and our volunteers for all their support through these difficult times. We still have a long way to go before we can get back to ‘normal’. We are by no means out of the woods, and there are still many challenges ahead but as a theatre we can now move forward and meet the challenges of the coming months with renewed hope and vigour.”
The Torch Theatre will seek to return to basic operations from November and will take stock and reconsider plans for reopening its doors once the ‘Fire Break’ Lockdown has passed. The theatre is also planning new and engaging ways in which both its patrons and the local community can interact with art and culture. More news will follow in the coming weeks.