We hit a milestone at Harrogate Theatre this week

We hit a milestone at Harrogate Theatre this week - the Emergency Appeal has now hit £40,000 since we launched at the end of March. This is an incredible number, given the times we are in and the uncertainty we all continue to face.

This amount has been generated through a combination of standalone donations, new White Rose Memberships, and our Sponsor a Seat initiative. It should be noted that a significant chunk of that total has been achieved thanks to the donation of ticket monies from cancelled shows. Thank you to every single person who has contributed, and a personal thank you from me to the brilliant team at Harrogate Theatre who have shown unwavering commitment and incredible passion to deliver vital results for our town’s beloved theatre.

We have also had a couple of people approach us about running their own fundraising initiatives for Harrogate Theatre this week, which we welcome with open arms.

Amelia Urukslo is kindly organising ‘Harrogate’s Greatest Dancer’ - an online competition with an aim of raising £500, and Matt Pullan is planning a 12 hour dance marathon “with all your favourite dances, holiday park dances, bubbles and so much more”. Both of these fundraisers can be found on JustGiving and we will be sharing links on our social media if you’d like to find out more. Another thank you from me to both Amelia and Matt for their heartwarming efforts.

Back at Harrogate Theatre ‘virtual HQ’ most of our staff continue to be furloughed. As time rolls on and belts need to tighten further we are also looking again at potentially more furlough. Continued operational priorities include fundraising, communications, the reorganisation of our artistic programme, and customer service alongside ongoing day-to-day financial management and strategic planning. Our board and executive team are addressing all possible funding opportunities and the remodelling of the organisation in order to both respond to and survive this ongoing crisis.  

Finally, last week I mentioned that Harrogate Theatre has taken part in a national survey of audiences, called ‘After the Interval’.  In our survey, despite just 23% of respondents considering themselves vulnerable to Coronavirus, 81% want to see limits on the number of people who can attend our events. This is just one of the many scenarios we are exploring in an attempt to work out what a balance of safety and financial viability might look like. More on that to come.

First Published in the Harrogate Advertiser on THU 21 MAY.