Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

West End Theatres Need [Pounds Sterling]250m to Keep Their Doors Open; PLAYHOUSES MAY BE FORCED TO CLOSE IF THEY DO NOT MODERNISE, WARNS REPORT

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

West End Theatres Need [Pounds Sterling]250m to Keep Their Doors Open; PLAYHOUSES MAY BE FORCED TO CLOSE IF THEY DO NOT MODERNISE, WARNS REPORT

Article excerpt

Byline: LUKE LEITCH

KEEPING the West End's 40 theatres in a usable state will cost at least [pounds sterling]250 million over the next 15 years, according to a report published today.

The Theatres Trust wants the Government to help modernise the capital's theatres, warning that without funding, up to [pounds sterling]1.05billion they generate each year for the economy could be lost.

The report, Modernising London's West End Theatres, warns: "Sooner or later a major problem at one of the theatres will force a closure. The smaller playhouses will become too expensive to maintain."

The Theatres Trust's report, which has taken two years to compile, estimates that 60 per cent of West End theatres have seats from which the stage is not fully visible, 48 per cent have inadequate foyers and bars, 40 per cent need major restoration work and 26 per cent have inadequate legroom.

Peter Longman, director of the Theatres Trust, said: "Our researches have demonstrated that it is no longer realistic to expect owners to put things right without assistance. …

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