Plymouth Pavilions campaigns for public's support to secure future

    The venue's CEO says they need demonstrate what a loss to the South West it would be if they shut down

    Plymouth Pavilions' CEO says they have no idea when they will be able to reopen.

    Sarah Phillips says the long-term damage to particular industries may never be undone.

    She says it is not safe nor responsible to push too quickly to open their doors to the public just yet:

    "Initially everybody thinks of social distancing within the arena itself, but we've got to think bigger than that, we've got to think of getting people into the building and doing that in a timely manner.

    "We've only got one door in and one door out and there's lots of decisions to be made like that.

    "Certainly across the industry, this whole question of social distancing is one that's not being well received."

    The Government has announced a £1.57 billion commitment to endorsing the cultural economy.

    The money, which represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic.

    However, Sarah says it is not just concerns about financial viability:

    "Pilots over the weekend in London have raised concerns over customer experience.

    "It doesn't matter how great an act is and what a fantastic show they've put on, when audience numbers are lacking, the atmosphere is lacking and we all know it's such an important part of the live experience."

    Plymouth Pavilions have recently launched a campaign called '#wearethesupportact'.

    The aim is to raise awareness of the impact COVID-19 has had on the venue, the future of its programme and what that means for its staff, artists and events.

    Sarah told Radio Plymouth that they are confident they can keep going, but they are going to need some help and support to do that:

    "If we're to stand any chance of accessing help from the Government, we'll need to be able to demonstrate what a loss to the South West it would be if we don't keep going.

    "We need to be creating a wall of noise, we need to be getting everybody's support - that's support from our promoters, our customers, our partners - to make sure when the time comes to put our grant application in, we've got all of that support behind us and we're in the best place to be making our case."

    To find out more about the Pavilions' #wearethesupportact campaign, click here.

    As the venue remains closed for gigs and performances, they will also be keeping their ice-rink closed for the foreseeable future.

    They say they are working hard to figure out how it would work and what measures they will need to put in place.

    They will reopen once they are confident with their plans.

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