A Hammersmith theatre has exceeded its community crowdfunding target in a struggle to stay afloat during Covid-19, after receiving a sizeable donation from a neighbouring business.
The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, which this year celebrates its 125th birthday received £30,000 from Kings Mall, taking its total crowdfunding total to £74,846.
The campaign was launched earlier this month to help reopen its doors after the Covid-19 lockdown in the spring.
Sian Alexander, Executive Director of the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, commented: “We are so grateful to Kings Mall for their incredibly generous donation to our community Crowdfunder campaign, which means we have already exceeded our original target of £50,000.
“The pandemic has had a devastating financial impact on the theatre and every penny raised will go to helping us reopen and return to what we do best – making world-class theatre, creating opportunities for young people and serving our community.”
In July the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (Bectu) warned the UK’s theatre industry had been hit by a “perfect storm” that will “turn into a tsunami” of job losses without direct government intervention.
A registered charity, the Lyric is well known in the Hammersmith community for its quality productions and community engagement programmes which provide young people across west London access to arts education and equal opportunities to thrive.
Despite receiving public funding, the theatre receives less than 20% of the income required to continue its work – both on and off stage.
As a charity, the loss of all income from ticket sales, the restaurant, hires and other activities as a result of the pandemic has threatened the theatre’s future.
One theatregoer who donated to the fundraiser commented: “Life is poorer without access to the arts.”
Kings Mall Hammersmith, which was acquired by Ingka Centres late last year, is currently undergoing a significant redevelopment which will see it become an Ingka Centres ‘Meeting Place’ – a mixed-use destination built around the needs of the local community.
Mario Barros, of Ingka Centres said: “We’re delighted to be able to support the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre – and help the team there to continue their important work not only in offering world-class entertainment, but also supporting and providing opportunities for the people of Hammersmith.”
“The Lyric’s vision and values mirror our own, and we hope this donation will be the start of a long-term partnership that benefits the whole community.”
On 15 October the Lyric announced that it will reopen for shows in January 2021 with a season of work including projects in the community for Autumn 2020 and two one person shows presented to a socially distanced audience from early 2021.
You can support the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre by donating to its Recovery Fund.