Chester Business Club launches campaign to ‘SAVE OUR THEATRE’

Chester Business Club is inviting other local business groupings to join a campaign to help support Chester’s award-winning Storyhouse Theatre from going under.

The campaign is based on three aspects:

◼creating increased awareness of Storyhouse’s cultural importance for residents and visitors alike
◼highlighting the significance of the benefits flowing from thriving arts environment
◼encouraging widespread financial support to ensure the theatre’s future.

Club chairman Julie Swinnerton says, ‘The people of Chester waited and fought long and hard for some 30 years to get a proper theatre worthy of the description, and the last thing anyone wants is to lose it after only a few years of existence!’

City of Chester MP Chris Matheson, Shadow Minister for Culture, Media & Sport, is backing the cam-paign. He said, ‘As MP for the constituency and as an honorary member of Chester Business Club, I wholeheartedly support this initiative to prevent Storyhouse from having to close. The Covid-19 pan-demic has had a massive impact of the viability of many businesses, not the least of which are theatres and arts centres nationwide.

‘We must do everything possible to ensure Storyhouse manages to come through its current difficulties and continue to maintain and build on its growing reputation for excellence. I will be raising the issue with the DCMS ministers.’

Alex Clifton, Storyhouse’s Artistic Director, says ‘“We are in a straightforward fight for survival after be-ing forced to postpone the open-air theatre season, which accounts for one fifth of our annual ticketed income and costs £¾m to stage. Storyhouse will open as soon as any part of the business is able to do so safely. But the jeopardy is very real unless something changes. There are theatres across the UK going into hibernation or administration; we are a diverse business so that’s not for us. We will open and sup-port our community from the moment we are allowed – but we rely on direct community support for our survival right now.”


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