MP Robert Goodwill 'concerned but not surprised' over plight of SIV, the company that runs Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion

Scarborough and Whitby’s MP says he is concerned but not surprised that the company which runs two of the area’s live arts venues is struggling.

Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 4:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 4:31 pm

Sheffield City Trust, also known as Sheffield International Venues (SIV), which runs Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion on behalf of the borough council, has said there are no plans to close either venue but it is exploring staff redundancies and facing "challenging times".

MP Robert Goodwill said: “It’s really worrying but not surprising as I don’t think we’re going to see theatres open for months, maybe not until next year.”

Mr Goodwill spoke to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden only last night about the reopening of arts venues.

The future for Scarborough Spa is unclear.

“It seems it will be difficult to open theatres again,” he said.

Although cinemas are planning to reopen with social distancing measures in place, Mr Goodwill said theatres will be more difficult to open safely because of the number of people involved in productions and the advance preparation for shows that are needed.

“Even if they got the go-ahead in October, we probably wouldn’t see shows being performed until the new year,” he said.

He has also been in touch with the director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Caroline Routh, and said she was explaining to him the difficulties they have been facing.

Coming soon ... or not at all ?

“They’ve been offered a rent holiday and have furloughed staff.” he said.

He thinks there will be opportunities for theatres to stream performances and for outdoor theatre before live shows return.

The Grade II-listed Scarborough Spa is home to the renowned Scarborough Spa Orchestra and hosts, among many events, the Scarborough Jazz Festival.

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