The latest on our Emergency Appeal...

Five weeks into our Emergency Appeal Campaign and we have welcomed just over £27,000* in donations. Within that figure we’ve now signed up over 100 new White Rose Members and a few of you have now taken up the opportunity to Sponsor a Seat in our main auditorium. The support we are receiving is incredible. Each day feels like an uphill battle for the team right now, and your kind wishes and generosity is keeping us all going - thank you from all of us.

Needless to say further to the latest government review, our doors remain closed without any indication as yet on when that might change. There’s speculation and much discussion on the matter – and we can look to other countries that are ahead of us in this pandemic experience for some insight into how things might unfold – but in reality it’s anyone’s best guess right now.

The weeks ahead while we are closed will be tough – we know this only too well - and we need to raise £4,000 for each of those weeks to financially sustain. However, we are also aware that for us, for the arts, and for so many other businesses and industries the hard work does not end when the doors re-open – quite the contrary. We face an extended challenge following the end of the lockdown period as we work to engender trust again from our audiences alongside continuing to comply with any on going restrictions, keeping people safe, and paying the bills.

It’s hard at this point to see what ‘the new normal’ will look like, and it’s impossible to know what the continued restrictions and advice might be. What we can do, however, is start to think about how we continue to put your safety and enjoyment first.

The skeleton team we now have operating are discussing a range of strategies, including thinking about maintaining social distancing measures throughout the building while ensuring financial deals with artists and companies remain feasible.

The arts have always been about human connection and bringing people together, and rethinking even elements of that is a challenging task.

The team at Harrogate Theatre are some of the most committed and passionate people I’ve ever known, who also happen to be experts in their field. With that in mind I can only assure you that we will give this everything we’ve got. Thank you again for all your support.

First Published in the Harrogate Advertiser on THU 23 APR.

*Since publication we have now raised over £30,000