The management team and trustees of Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) in Cardiff have announced the continued closure of the venue until January 2021, ‘as a result of the devastating impact the Coronavirus pandemic has had on the theatre industry’.
WMC had enjoyed significant commercial revenue before the closure earlier in the year removed 85% of income ‘overnight’. The venue is calling for urgent government intervention and guidance.
In a statement on the WMC website, WMC’s Managing Director, Mat Milsom, said:
‘This decision [to close] was not taken lightly. It will affect our staff, volunteers, freelancers, our community, the young people we work with, suppliers and, of course, the 1.6 million visitors who visit our much-loved building each year.
‘However, with no information on when restrictions around mass gatherings may be lifted and no guidelines on how the UK theatre industry will operate when we are allowed to open, it was one that was necessary in order to secure the future of the organisation.’
All major events originally scheduled to take place in 2020 have been postponed or cancelled and the venue may remain closed until spring or summer 2021.
The effects on touring shows are expected to last for several years, with productions being cancelled and no new shows created.
The impact of a 12 month closure will result in around £20m of lost commercial revenue for Wales Millennium Centre and around £70 million for the Welsh economy.
Up to 250 jobs, comprising 85 permanent staff and 165 casual positions, are reported to be at risk.