• The Coronavirus crisis has caused big problems for the arts and culture industry
  • Theatre Royal Plymouth has had to cut 100 jobs in an effort to stay afloat
  • Luke has written to the Culture Secretary to ask for urgent support

Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, has renewed his calls for a funding package to help Theatre Royal Plymouth, and theatres like it across the country. TRP has announced 100 job losses due to financial constraints brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic

Last week Luke wrote again to the Culture Secretary asking him for urgent help for the Theatre Royal and theatres like it across the country. The Government has announced a “road map”, but it doesn’t include any new funding. 

Luke Pollard said:

One thing is for sure, people in Plymouth do not want to lose the Theatre Royal. The Coronavirus outbreak is putting our entire creative arts sector as a city at risk. The 100 job losses at TRP could just be the start if a new funding package is not announced by Ministers soon.

The Theatre Royal drives so much of our creative sector as a city and has helped launch countless careers on stage, in production, in design, in directing and writing. It is a cultural hub around which many countless businesses and creative teams have been established. It’s work is not only recognised locally, it is nationally significant and internationally famous too. That is not an exaggeration, but as we’re Plymouth, we’re not always great at saying that. But I am, because time is running out.


Since the news broke of the job losses I have been sent many memories, concerns and heart-felt pleases for support. People have told me about the first time they went to see a show, how they take their grandkids each year to the panto, how they’ve been inspired in the Drum or even how they have helped put productions together.


Put simply: the Theatre Royal Plymouth is too important locally and too significant nationally for us to lose. It must not close. We must save her. The Government could do so today, and we cannot allow them to delay announcing a support package any further. It seems that one is ready, but we don’t know how big, whether it is comparable to measures announced by many European governments, or whether it will be in the form of loans or grants. The delay is literally killing theatres and creative companies. It cannot go on much longer.”

Luke will soon be organising a special Zoom between local creative voices, people in theatre and production and Tracy Brabin MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Arts, who is leading out campaign nationally to get theatre the support it needs. If you would like to participate please get in touch.

Luke's letter to Oliver Dowden
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